• 68°

BOB WEST ON GOLF: Lietzke receiving salutes at events where he was champion

Bruce Lietzke is gone but far from forgotten in the world of professional golf.

The former Beaumonter, who passed away in late July after a 15-month battle with glioblastoma (brain cancer), was saluted for the second time last week on the PGA Tour Champions. In Memoriam banners, featuring a photo of Lietzke, were prominently displayed on the grounds of the SAS Championship in Cary, North Carolina.

Honoring Lietzke wasn’t exactly a reach for SAS organizers. He won the original SAS Championship in 2001, then repeated in 2002. Lietzke is still the only player to win the tourney back-to-back. Bernhard Langer joined Lietzke and Russ Cochran as the only two-time winners last week.

In early August, a week after his death, the 3M Championship in Minneapolis acknowledged the popular Lietzke by having the players wear red ribbons. Lietzke had a winning tie at the 3M, too, scoring his first PGA Tour Champions victory in it 20 days after becoming eligible for the senior tour by turning 50.

It will be interesting to see if PGA Tour events where Lietzke hoisted the championship trophy will offer some sort of tribute. The most obvious places for that to happen are the Byron Nelson in Dallas and the Colonial in Fort Worth, both of which he won twice.

Lietzke also won the Canadian Open and the now defunct Tucson Open twice.


PNG ex Karlei Hemler continues to impress in her sophomore season at McNeese State. Hemler closed with a one-under-par 71 Tuesday in Bradenton, Florida to finish tied for 17th in Florida International’s Pat Bradley Invitational.

After earlier rounds of 71-76, she finished with a 54-hole total of two-over-par 218 to help McNeese to an eighth-place finish. Hemler, who made five birdies in Tuesday’s round, had the low score for McNeese …

Braden Bailey ended Baylor’s fall season on somewhat of a downer in the Bears’ Royal Oaks Invitational. The PNG ex, who was co-medalist in the event two years ago and finished third last year, finish tied for 42nd at 14-over par 224 on rounds of 71-77-76.

It didn’t help Bailey or the defending champion Bears that the tourney had to be moved from Dallas’ Royal Oaks to Maridoe Golf Club in Carrollton because of flooding at Royal Oaks …

Lots of smiles for YMCA president and CEO Bud Oliver, after the second annual YMCA Tee Off for Kids Scramble sponsored by Valero came up big. Up to 32 teams from an inaugural event with only 10 teams, Oliver says the proceeds for YMCA scholarship funds should be in the ballpark of $64,000.

By comparison, the 2017 tourney raised just $6,427.77.

Winning team was the Praxair trio of Russ Gloede, Mike Phillips and Darrell Whittington. They were one of four teams to shoot 57 and claimed the top spot in a scorecard playoff.

Closest to the pin winners were Mike Henry (No. 2), Ruston Kennedy (No. 7), Mike Overstreet (No. 12) and Gloede (No. 15). Doug Kroll won long drive on No. 9 …

Chris Stroud makes his second start of the 2018-19 PGA Tour season this week at the Sanderson Farms Championship in Jackson, Mississippi. Stroud missed the cut three weeks ago in the Safeway Open. Lamar ex Shawn Stefani is also in the field.
Andrew Landry does not plan to return until the Nov. 8-11 OHL Championship in Mayakoba …

The team of Craig Geoffroy, Don MacNeal, Roddy Richards and Bill Landry scored a sweep in the Monday Senior 50 Plus game at Babe Zaharias. They were minus-4 on the front and minus-3 on the back …

In the Super Saturday 2-ball at Zaharias, the team of Ron Carlin, Ed Holley, Dan Flood and Cole Lee won the front with minus 3. On the back, the foursome of Adam Davis, Harrel Guidry, Ron Hicks and Craig Castille won with minus 3 …

The Wednesday Babe Zaharias DogFight was won with 14 points by the team of Joe Gongora, Rick Pritchett, Ron Mistrot and Sid Ducote. Tied for second with 12 points were teams captained by Gloede and Earl Richard.

Closest to the pin winners were Holley (No. 7) and Richard (No. 12, No. 15).

Golf news should be emailed to rdwest@usa.net