GOLF: Landry moves up in Desert Classic

Published 5:50 pm Friday, January 18, 2019

Andrew Landry continued to feast on the PGA West Stadium Course Friday, firing a five-under-par 67 that moved him into the fringe of contention in the Desert Classic with a 36-hole total of 135.

The Port Neches-Groves ex still trails leader Phil Mickelson by seven strokes but climbed from a tie for 31st to a tie for 21st, with a handful of players still on the course. Landry had shot 68 during the final round on the Stadium Course in 2017 to tie eventual winner Jon Rahm and force a playoff.

Things didn’t go quite as well for the other former PNG player in the field. Chris Stroud, making his first tournament start since mid-November, shot a one-under-par 71 at La Quinta Country Club. Stroud was T89 after having opened with a 69 on the much tougher Stadium Course.

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Landry steadily climbed the leaderboard during the day, shooting an outgoing 34 playing the back nine, then coming home with a 33 on the front. Three of his six birdies came on par 5 holes, with the longest of the six birdie putts coming from 15 feet.

What Landry did best was give himself plenty of good birdie looks by hitting 16 of 18 greens in regulation. When he made a bogey with on his 15th hole of the day, it snapped a string of 28 holes without a bogey.

Stroud, meanwhile, started strong, quickly getting to two-under with birdies at the par-4 first and the par-5 sixth. Then he hit the wall. There would be pars the rest of the way against a lone bogey at the par-4 16th. That ended a string of 24 holes without a bogey.

Landry’s chances of moving up on Saturday should be enhanced by playing the La Quinta CC course that is considered the most gettable of the three layouts in the Desert Classic. Landry blistered La Quinta CC with a 65 last year.

Stroud will play his third round on the Nicklaus course.

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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