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BOB WEST ON GOLF: Stroud, Landry need to move up

It is getting late early for Chris Stroud and Andrew Landry in relation to the FedEx Cup playoffs.

With the PGA Tour having moved the start of the playoffs back to the second week of August, and trimmed the process by one event, there is a max of 10 opportunities left to move up in the standings. Neither player, of course, is going to play that many consecutive tournaments, although Stroud may come close.

Heading into this week’s Charles Schwab Challenge, which you used to know as the Colonial, Stroud rests somewhat uneasily inside the top 125 at No. 94.

Landry, meanwhile, is at No. 162, but doesn’t have the same pressure as Stroud because his 2018 Valero Texas Open win guaranteed his tour card through 2020.

Stroud, meanwhile, must finish in the top 125 or lose full time playing privileges. He’d climbed into the 70s after a second place finish at the Corales Puntacana Championship, but has since missed four consecutive cuts in individual stroke play events.

A history of playing well at the Colonial bodes well for Stroud to snap out of his slump. From 2012 through 2016 he had four finishes in the top 14, including a T7. He placed 41st in 2017, then had to withdraw after an opening 69 last year with the shoulder injury that caused him to miss some of this season.

Going forward Stroud plans to play often, though he is skipping next week’s Memorial. He’ll try to qualify for the U.S. Open on June 3 in Canada before playing in the Canadian Open. If he doesn’t make it into the U.S. Open, he will close out the month at the June 20-23 Travelers and the new Rocket Mortgage Open in Detroit.

Landry, after the Colonial, is playing Jack Nicklaus’ Memorial, then he’s not sure. He tried to qualify for the U.S. Open Monday in Dallas but rounds of 72-72 at Bent Tree Country Club and Northwood Club left him seven shots off the number of 137 that it took to earn one of 10 spots in a field of 102 players.

When he tees off Friday in the opening round of the NCAA Golf Championships at Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Braden Bailey will become the first player in Baylor history to have competed in four NCAAs.

Though putting woes kept the PNG ex from scoring as low as usual last week, Baylor punched its 2019 ticket by placing third — seven shots behind defending NCAA champ Oklahoma State — in the Louisville regional. Bailey shot rounds of 71-77-75 to finish T50 at 223.

Baylor will be one of 29 teams trying to the dethrone OSU through 72 holes of medal play and four rounds of match play. The field is cut to 15 teams after 54 holes, then narrowed to a final eight for match play after 72 holes.

Oklahoma State, paced by the nation’s No. 1 (Matthew Wolf) and No. 3 (Victor Hovland) ranked players, is favored to repeat. Teams expected to challenge included Arizona State, Wake Forest, Oklahoma and Texas.

The Golf Channel will air Monday’s final round of stroke play from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., then carry matches from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday. For those who’ve never watched top level college golf, those kids are really good …

Congratulations to Little Cypress-Mauriceville sophomore Jack Burke for wrapping up the 4A state championship Tuesday at Plum Creek Golf Club in Kyle.

Burke shot rounds of 71-70 to finish at one-under-par 141. He finished two shots clear of runner-up Logan Diomede of Argyle.
For Burke, a two-time District 22-4A champ and Southeast Texas’ best player in all classifications, it was his eighth win in 11 high school tournaments this season. He finished second in two of the three tourneys he didn’t win and is a heavy favorite to capture this year’s Babe Zaharias Player of the Year Award. …

In the Senior 50 Plus 2-ball Monday at Babe Zaharias, the team of Rufus Reyes, James Shipley, Roddy Richard and Tommy Duhon won the front with minus-4. On the back, the team of Benny Sharpe, Tony Trevino, Bob Luttrell and Pete Reobroi finished first at minus-2. …

The Super Saturday 2 ball at Zaharias saw a tie on the front at minus-4 between the team of Russ Gloede, Earl Richard, Harrel Guidry and Buddy Hicks and the foursome of Kenny Robbins, Harry Griffin, Dan Flood and Roger Baumer. On the back, the team of Ron Carlin, Trevino, Craig Castille and Chris Merrit won with minus-5. …

In the Thursday Senior 2-ball, the team of Robbins, Raymond Darbonne, Luttrell and Ron Mistrot took the front with minus 5. Joe Gongora teamed with Ronnie LaSalle, Larry Reese and Reobroi to take the back in minus-3. …

Wednesday’s Zaharias DogFight was played in an all-points count format. Claiming first with 42 points was the team of Raymond Darbonne, Rusty Hicks, Jeff Rinehart and Keith Marshall. Second with 38 points was the foursome of Ed Holley, Gary Fontenot, Butch Cross and James Trahan.

Closest to the pin winners were Robbins (No. 2), Dillard Darbonne (No. 7), Gongora (No. 12) and James Trahan (No. 15). …

Golf news should be emailed to rdwest@usa.net.