BOB WEST — High schoolers, local professionals making impacts in golf

Published 12:34 am Wednesday, April 19, 2023

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Golfers from Orangefield and Bridge City provided some thunder and lightning Monday in the form of their first ever holes in one during the opening round of the boys 3A and girls 4A regional championships. Orangefield’s Alex Montz bagged his ace from 165 yards with an 8-iron on the 12th hole at Brenham Country Club. Bridge City’s Saylor Moreau scored her hole in one from 100 yards with a pitching wedge at Bearkat Golf Club in Huntsville. There was an interesting footnote to Moreau’s ace. Babe Zaharias pro Mitch Duncan, who has been giving lessons to Moreau, was present to see his student strike her memorable shot. Duncan has several pupils in the various regionals and follows them when he can.

He happened to be in the right place at the right time with Moreau. One of the schools off to a good start was Orangefield. The Bobcats, paced by a 75 from Lincoln Parks and a 76 from his brother, Xander, were sitting in second place. They were seven strokes behind Diboll, two ahead of Cameron Yoe and three clear of Mildred. Lincoln Parks was tied for the individual lead and Xander was third. The top three teams and the top three individuals on teams that don’t advance get berths at state. Orangefield’s other Monday scores were a 92 by Reece Johnson, a 92 by Ethan Gunner and a 93 by Montz.

The Port Neches-Groves girls were fifth out of 13 teams at the halfway mark of the 5A regional at Margaritaville Resort on Lake Conroe. Jeanne Truong’s 92 was low for the Lady Indians. Other scores included a 93 by Ava Borne, a 93 by Tatum Bean, a 102 by Taryn DeJean and a 116 from Kassie Carpenter. Nederland’s Mya Wimer, competing as a medalist, shot a first-day 106.

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CHIP SHOTS — PNG alums Chris Stroud and Andrew Landry and Lamar ex MJ Daffue are all in the field for this week’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans. The Zurich, played at TPC New Louisiana, is unique in that it’s the only partner tournament on the PGA Tour.

Stroud is teaming with tour journeyman William McGirt, whose claim to fame is winning Jack Nicklaus’ Memorial Championship in 2016. McGirt, in what was his best year on tour, went on to win $11,278,353 and have seven top 10s.

Landry, coming off a missed cut at last week’s Heritage Classic after rounds of 73-69, is hooking up with his former University of Arkansas teammate Austin Cook. Cook’s lone PGA Tour victory was the 2017 RSM Classic.

Daffue, meanwhile, is partnering with fellow South African Erik van Rooyen. Van Rooyen, who has 10 top 10s in 74 PGA Tour starts, claimed his lone victory at the 2020 Barracuda Championship, which three years early became Stroud’s only win.

The Zurich starts with an 80-team field on Thursday, then cuts to the low 33 and ties after 36 holes. Format is best ball on Thursday and Saturday and alternate shot on Friday and Sunday. Golf Channel has the first two days and early Saturday, with CBS taking over on the weekend.

Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay are the defending champions. Eight of the top 20 players in the Official World Golf Rankings are in the field. Collin Morikawa and Max Homa may be the team to beat . . .

Wet conditions forced the Monday Senior 50 Plus 2 ball at Babe Zaharias into a par 4 game, with players teeing off from 200 yards or 175 yards depending on age and handicap.

Nearly pulling off a sweep was the team of Joe Gongora, Rufus Reyes, James Johnson and Robert Stansbury. They finished in a 3-way tie on the front at minus 8 and won the back at minus 10. Also minus 8 on the front were teams captained by Jeff Lane and Bob West.

Closest to the pin were Tony Trevino (No. 2, 3-10), Jeff Rinehart (No. 7, 5-10), Kenny Robbins (No. 12, 5-1) and Reyes (No. 15, 8-0) . . .

The Friday Senior game was played in an all points format, with each player assigned a certain number of points to make, depending on handicap. Placing first with plus 9 was the team of Keith Mullins, Robert Gautreaux, Dan Chandler and Dwayne Benoit.

Taking second at plus 4 was the foursome of Craig Geoffroy, Harry Green, Harrell Guidry and George Adams. Closest to the pin winners were Dan Flood (No. 2, 3-11), Reyes (No. 7, 8-0), West, (No. 12, 4-9) and Jimmy Cady (No. 15, 10-7) . . .

The Wednesday Zaharias DogFight was played in an all-points count format. Winning with 28 was the team of West, Ted Freeman Mike Kibodeaux and Tommy Duhon. Teams captained by Caesar Chavez and Danny Robbins tied for second with 24.

Closest to the pin winners were Jerry May (No. 2 2-7), Cap Hollier (No. 7, 6-4), Stansbury (No.12, 5-10 and Brian Sweeny (No. 15, 5-4) . . .

The Southern Texas PGA Junior Tour saw a huge turnout for its Saturday, April 8 event at Idylwild Golf Club. Jaden Grumme of Richmond won Boys 15-18 with an 81, edging Justin Quinn of Santa Fe by one stroke.

Jackson Sledzik of Needville fired the day’s best score, a one-over 73 to win Boys 13-14 by five strokes over Ian Chen of Houston. Ryan Chen of Houston claimed Boys 11-12 with a 76.

In Girls 15-18, Kentyn Clark of Huffman won with a 91 while Makenzie Minshew of Houston claimed Girls 13-14 with an 80 and Carolyn Liu of Katy placed first in Girls 11-12 after shooting 77.

Grace Dai of Beaumont was a winner in Junior Links Girls 13-14 with a 47. Maher Hardman of Port Arthur took first in Co-ed 6-8, 5-hole modified with a 31.

Golf news should be emailed to Bob West at