BOB WEST ON GOLF — Andrew Landry’s victory keeps rewarding
Published 12:05 am Wednesday, January 29, 2020
This week’s Phoenix Waste Management Open marks the first time in the 2020 portion of the PGA Tour schedule that Port Neches-Groves exes Andrew Landry and Chris Stroud are both in the field.
Landry, of course, is coming off his second career victory two weeks ago in the American Express Championship in La Quinta, California. Stroud, trying to regain form after a minor knee procedure in December, missed the cut in last week’s Farmers Insurance Open on rounds of 76-70.
Noteworthy on Landry’s American Express win is that it not only guaranteed his PGA Tour card for the next two seasons and gets him back in the Masters and Tournament of Champions, it fully vested him into the PGA Tour’s lucrative retirement program.
To be fully vested, a player must participate on the tour for five seasons and can’t have more than one year during that span when his card isn’t secured. This is Landry’s fourth year — he lost his card for the 2017 season. Now that 2021 is assured, he’s vested. Each year he plays after 2021 builds on his retirement fund.
Also kicking in for Landry with the win are numerous bonuses with various sponsors. In addition, he has contracts up for renewal this year that are certain to inflate.
“That win was big for me in so many ways,” Landry said. “The biggest thing is the job security and retirement. It also gives me a lot more flexibility in building my schedule.”
One final note on Landry’s impressive performance in the American Express is that he became the first player since Steve Stricker in 2010 to make 31 birdies in a 72-hole tournament. The PGA Tour record is 32.
Stroud, meanwhile, might bear watching this week. He finished strong last week in San Diego and has positive memories from last year’s Waste Management where he placed seventh. It was one of his four top 10s for the season.
In case you haven’t seen it yet, Stroud is the cover story for the January-February issue of Greater Port Arthur The Magazine. Take it from the story’s author — it’s a good read.
High school golf is starting to ramp up in Southeast Texas and the one thing evident early on is that Little Cypress-Mauriceville junior Jack Burke is still king of the mountain.
Burke, the defending 4A state champion, won his second 2020 individual title Monday, firing a one-under-par 71 at Rayburn Country Golf Club to pace LCM to a 39-shot victory with a 321. The Bears’ Wyatt Wozniak was runner-up medalist with a 77 and Orangefield’s Xander Parks was third at 78.
PNG’s No. 2 varsity group was second in team competition with a 360. Michael Blotner paced the Indians with an 87. …
Two weeks earlier, Burke won the Hardin-Jefferson Invitational at Beaumont Country Club with a two-over 73. PNG, however, grabbed the team title with a 321. Leading the way for the Indians was Tim Feemster with a 78. Other PNG scores were Dalton Shields, 80, Vic Aponte, 83, and Jason Adam, 90. …
PNG placed sixth in the 36-hole Klein Invitational at Augusta Pines with a 663 (327-336). Feemster was team medalist with a 157 (75-82). He was followed by Aponte’s 167 (81-86), Shields’ 173 (86-87) and a 177 by Jason Adams with a 177 (85-92) …
In the first Southern Texas PGA Junior Tour event of 2020, played at Sunset Grove Country Club in Orange, Xander Parks took medalist honors with a two-over-par 73. Brody Knowlton placed second with an 82 . . .
A former area high school golfer — West Brook’s Shelby Thibodeaux — was honored at last week’s PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando. The 27-year-old Thibodeaux, who is the director of the Wind Rose Junior Golf Academy in Spring, was named a Top 50 U.S. Kids Golf Coach.
Thibodeaux, got his teaching start under noted instructor Hank Haney and earned an associate degree at the Golf Academy of America . . .
West Orange-Stark ex Michael Arnaud made the cut in the first two events on the Korn Ferry Tour, both of which were played in Bermuda. He placed T39 in the season opener with an even-par 288, then was T58 with a 290. He’s in the field for this week’s Greater Panama Championship that runs Thursday through Sunday.
Lamar ex Dawie van der Walt also made the cut in the two Korn Ferry tourneys, finishing T53 (297 and T52 (288).
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