BOB WEST ON GOLF — Andrew Landry, Chris Stroud seek West Coast points push
Published 12:09 am Wednesday, January 8, 2020
With their PGA Tour cards on the line, Port Neches-Groves exes Andrew Landry and Chris Stroud plan to hit the ground running as the 2020 portion of the schedule officially opens with this week’s Sony Open in Honolulu. Both plan to play four of the first five events of the West Coast swing.
Each is in the position of needing to finish in the top 125 in Fed Ex points to guarantee full tour eligibility for next year.
Landry’s lineup includes the Sony, next week’s Desert Classic in Palm Springs, the Jan. 30-Feb 2 Waste Management Open in Scottsdale and the Feb 6-9 AT&T Pro-Am at Pebble Beach.
Stroud, meanwhile, is skipping the Sony as he rehabilitates from a minor knee procedure in December. He’s spending the week in Palm Springs preparing for the Desert Classic, then will play the Jan. 23-26 Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego, the Waste Management and Pebble Beach.
Neither of the former Indians did as well as they’d hoped on the fall portion of the schedule. Landry, in particular, struggled, missing six of seven cuts, including the last four. A tie for 23rd in the Safeway Open gained him enough points to stand 174 on the Fed Ex list with $52,140 in earnings.
Stroud was more consistent, making three of five cuts, topped by a tie for 18th in the Mayakoba Classic. He pocketed $141,000 and stands No. 145 in Fed Ex points.
There is no immediate pressure on either player, because one or two good tournaments can send a player soaring up the points list. Stroud proved that in an up-and-down, injury plagued 2018-19 season by saving his tour card with four top 10 finishes.
On the other hand, the influx of terrific young talent onto the tour makes it tougher and tougher to grind out those high finishes. And neither player has youth on his side. Stroud is 37 and Landry 32.
Landry’s chances for a fast start are not all that favorable based on his limited history at the Sony, but he’ll have plenty of reasons to be optimistic the next week in the Desert Classic. That’s where he nearly scored his first PGA Tour victory before losing in a sudden death playoff. He followed up with a T28 last year.
The Sony, however, is a different story. In two trips, he’s missed the cut both times, posting three over and five over totals. In addition, he received the scare of his life in 2018 when an erroneous report of an imminent nuclear attack created short-lived hysteria.
At 8 a.m. on a Sunday morning, this is the alert Landry, Stroud and other golfers heard in Honolulu. “Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill.”
Both players later admitted to being skeptical, but shaken at the warning.
“When they came over the speaker and said it was not a warning and said this is not a drill, it got kind of scary,” said Landry, who was having breakfast at the time. “It was pretty wild for a while.”
“It was spooky for about six or seven minutes,” said Stroud. “Some people were really freaking out. There was some chaos. It was pretty crazy. I was trying to figure out where I needed to go to find shelter.”
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