BOB WEST ON GOLF — Parks brothers come up big at Zaharias Awards

Published 12:09 am Wednesday, May 25, 2022

The 12th annual Babe Zaharias Awards turned out to be a memorable happening for Orangefield’s Parks brothers in particular and the Bobcat golf team in general Tuesday night at 5 Under Golf Center in Beaumont.

Before former PNG great, Lamar All-America and PGA Tour success story Chris Stroud stepped up as the evening’s guest speaker, Xander Parks, a junior fresh off a seventh-place finish in the 4A state championship, was named the Zaharias Boys Player of the Year.

Making it even more special for the Parks family was little brother Lincoln, a freshman, being honored as the Boys Underclassman of the Year, an award Xander claimed in 2021. For good measure, Orangefield’s Todd Trawhorn was voted Coach of the Year.

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Xander Parks, in succeeding Little Cypress-Mauriceville’s Jack Burke as the Boys Player of the Year, won six tournaments, including the district championship. He also placed third in regional before coming in seventh at state.

Caleb Snider and Cade Jeanes, both of Hardin-Jefferson, were the other finalists.

Meanwhile, LCM senior Montana Dileo repeated as the Girls Player of the Year. Dileo, a Lamar University signee, won six times and reached the state tournament for the fourth consecutive year. She placed 10th at state and is ranked 10th in her class in Texas.

Anabelle Cardenas of Kelly was the runner-up to Dileo.

PNG’s Tatum Bean won the Girls Underclassmen of the Year Award, with Chloe Olsen of Kelly and Hallie Westfall of Hardin-Jefferson the other finalists.

Boys Underclassmen of the Year, as mentioned, went to Lincoln Parks, with PNG’s Evan Klutts and Kelly’s Julian Matthews in the running.

Neely Wozniak of LCM took home the Girls Character and Leadership Award, with Payton Hidalgo of HJ and Rylie Kethan of Orangefield finalists. Jeremy Blackwell of West Brook and Jeanes shared the Boys Character and Leadership Award.

Johnnie Harrel of LC-M was named Girls Coach of the Year.

CHIP SHOTS: Reece Williams, the 13-year-old son of 5 Under Golf Center CEO Austin Williams, looks to be a rising star in Southeast Texas golf circles. Williams is headed to the Optimist International Junior World Championship in Miami, after winning the 12-13 flight last week at Timberlane Country Club in New Orleans.

Despite never having played the course, Williams shot even par 72 in the qualifier. He was able to do it despite three lighting and rain delays. The Junior World, set for mid July, will feature 600 players from 23 countries competing over 54 holes at the Trump National Golf Club and Resort.

M.J Daffue, a two-time Southland Conference champion (2011, 2012) at Lamar and the SLC’s Player of the Year in 2011, continues to be the hottest player in professional golf with ties to Southeast Texas.

Daffue, who lives in Kingwood, posted his second consecutive outright third in the Korn Ferry Tour’s Advent Health Championship in Kansas City. He now has five top 10s in 12 starts, has moved up to third place on the Korn Ferry points list and has compiled $220,167 in official earnings this season.

With the top 25 finishers in the season points list earning a PGA Tour card, Daffue is a lock to be playing with the big boys next season. His incentive for the rest of the year will be finishing as high as possible on the points list to secure the best status for getting into PGA events.

Former Babe Zaharias pro Ed Campbell was beaming from ear to ear after his daughter, Dee Davis, scored her first hole in one Sunday. Davis used a 6 hybrid to score the ace on the 113-yard third hole on the Ravines Course at Elkins Lake in Huntsville.

Dee’s husband, Gilbert, witnessed the shot.

In the Monday Senior 50 Plus 2 ball at Zaharias, the team of Earl Richard, Mike Brown, Dwayne Morvant and Lonnie Mosley blew away the competition with minus 6. On the back, minus 5 won for the team of Kenny Robbins, Danny Robbins, Larry Johnson and Charles Perez.

Closest to the pin winners were Bob Byerly (No. 2, 3 feet, 2 inches), Morvant (No. 7, 6-2), Jeff Rinehart (No. 12, 6-7) and Steve Wisenbaker (No. 15, 5-11).

The Friday Senior 2 ball at Zaharias saw the team of Bob West, Tony Trevino, Don MacNeil and John Ferguson win the front with minus 1. Minus 2 won the back for the foursome of Mike Brown, Morvant, Dan Harrington and Dale Carter.

Closest to the pin winners were West (No. 2), Brown (No. 7, No. 12) and Lee Bertrand (No. 12).

The Wednesday Zaharias DogFight was played in an all-points count format. Placing first with 35 points was the team of Rusty Hicks, Mike Richard, Bertrand and Richard Menchaca. Taking second with 29 points was the foursome of Earl Richard, Danny Robbins, Roy Martinez and Keith Marshall.

Closest to the pin winners were Bertrand (No. 2, No 15), Rinehart (No. 7) and Brown (No. 2).

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