BOB WEST ON GOLF — Joe Gongora cashes in on his sixth hole in one

Published 12:06 am Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Aces are nothing new for Joe Gongora of Port Arthur but the one he made last Wednesday at Babe Zaharias carried multiple rewards beyond the thrill of seeing a tee shot roll into the cup.

Because his ace came in the weekly Zaharias DogFight, Gongora wa rewarded with the $200 payout that goes with making a Dogfight hole-in-one. Gongora also collected on a skin, a closest to the pin and a team victory for a pitching wedge from 115 yards.

It was his sixth hole in one and carried a bottom line of a little over $300. Be sure to tell your Uncle Sam, Joe.

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Witnesses to the shot were Scott Bryant, Dwayne Benoit and Randy Jackson. That trio also profited from Gongora’s ace because it enabled them to walk away with first place money in the DogFight with 24 points. Placing second with 22 points was the team of Raymond Darbonne, Roger Baumer, Roy Martinez and James Johnson.

Closest to the pin winners on a day when everyone played the front nine twice were Gongora (2A), Dan Flood (2B), Rick Pritchett (7A) and Kenny Robbins (7B).

CHIP SHOTS: Andrew Landry, who has dropped to 133 on the Fed Ex Cup points list, returns to the PGA Tour this week in the Byron Nelson Classic. The tourney was played for years at the Four Seasons Las Colinas, then moved to Trinity Forest in Dallas for 2018 and 2019. It’s now been relocated to the TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney.

There was no Nelson tournament last year because of the pandemic. The late Bruce Lietzke was a two-time winner of the Nelson, with both wins coming in playoffs. The Beaumonter bested Tom Watson in 1981 and Clarence Rose in 1988.

Landry will not be the only player with local ties competing in the Nelson. Lamar ex MJ Daffue, who continues to do amazing things in the uber difficult Monday qualifiers, rolled in three eagles on his way to a 64 that was the low round among those trying secure a spot in the Nelson field.

It was the remarkable 12th time in the last two years for Daffue to get into a PGA Tour or Korn Ferry Tour event through Monday qualifying, and the fifth time this season he’s made it into a PGA tourney. The Kingwood resident has twice cashed in those opportunities.

After an opening 65, he finished T12 in the Sanderson Farms Championship. Prior to that, he posted a T22 at the Workday Classic. He also carded a 65 in that event.

Braden Bailey, after heartbreaking near misses in a Monday qualifier for the Korn Ferry Veritex Open and a U.S. Open local qualifier, will be back in competition starting today in the APT Grand Casino Open in Shawnee, Oklahoma. It will be the first of three consecutive APT events in the Midwest for Bailey.

There was an interesting sidebar after Bailey lost out in a four-way playoff for two spots in the Veritex Open two weeks ago. His high school and college rival, Chandler Phillips, (Huntsville, Texas A&M), talked the PN-G ex into being his caddie that week.

Phillips was in contention all the way, earning a tie for fourth. Bailey walked away with $2,000 for his contribution.

The Monday 50 Plus 2 ball at Zaharias saw the team of Doug LeBlanc, Ted Freeman, Rufus Reyes and Danny Harrington win the front with minus 6 and tie the back at minus 4. Also minus 4 on the back was the foursome of James Shipley, Darbonne, Bob Luttrull and Paul Duplantis.

In the Super Saturday 2 ball at Zaharias, the team of Shipley, Gene Jones, Bryant and Jesse Tupper won the front with minus 2 and tied the back with the same score. Sharing first on the back was the foursome of Ed Holley, Pritchett, Jeremy Hemler and Dwayne Benoit.

Shipley was also captain of the winning team on the front in the Friday 2 ball at Zaharias. His foursome, which posted minus 2, included Charles Leard, Rusty Hicks and George Adams. Placing first on the back with minus 4 was the team of Jim Cady, Bobby Wactor, Bryant and Richard Menchaca.

The Thursday 2 ball saw a sweep by the team of Keith Mullins, Bob West, Don MacNeil and Menchaca. They finished even on the front and were minus 5 on the back.

Sign-ups are now being taken for the PNG Indian Summer Golf Camp June 22-25. Hosted by Indians golf coach Jerry Honza, the camp is split between kids grades 4 through 6 and grades 7 through 9. The registration fee is $125 and is due by June 17.

Instruction times for golfers who will be in grades 4 through 6 are set for 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Tuesday through Friday. Incoming 7th, 8th and 9th graders will receive instruction from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Honza can be contacted at 409 719-3949 or

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