BOB WEST — Golf coach talks success of Lincoln and Xander Parks; state tournament competition awaits
Published 12:02 am Wednesday, April 26, 2023
With selections for the Babe Zaharias Boys High School Player of the Year award just around the corner, Orangefield’s Parks brothers emphatically made their case last week in leading the Bobcats to the 3A state tournament at Brenham Country Club.
Xander, the 2022 Zaharias winner as a junior, fought through back issues that have impacted him much of the year to claim medalist honors with a 150 on rounds of 76-74. Younger brother Lincoln, winner of the Zaharias 2022 Newcomer of the Year Award that Xander claimed in 2021, took the silver medal with a 153 (75-78).
Throw in identical 182s (92-90) from Reece Johnson and Ethan Gunner, and Zaharias 2022 Coach of the Year Todd Trawhorn’s Orangefield’s team posted a 667, good for a second-place finish behind Diboll’s 657.
Alex Montz’ 191 (93-98) didn’t count toward the team total but he made noise with an opening round ace.
No other South Jefferson County or Orange County school or player was a factor in their respective regionals. Nederland’s Preston DeSerrano, playing as a medalist, had the next most noteworthy showing with a 156 (80-76) in the 5A Boys regional at Margaritaville Golf Club on Lake Conroe. He tied for 14th overall.
Bridge City’s Saylor Moreau did get some attention with a hole-in-one in the 4A girls’ regional.
The Parks brothers, meanwhile, have positioned themselves to possibly battle each other for a state championship. Xander, who finished 7th at the 4A state meet last year, would have been the favorite under normal circumstances but the back woes have taken a toll.
“I was so impressed with what Xander was able to do at regional,” said Babe Zaharias pro Mitch Duncan, who has been teaching the Parks brothers for nearly 10 years. “He was having muscle spasms that were causing him to compensate in his swing. That led to some uncharacteristically high scores.
“You have to give a local chiropractor some credit. Dr. David Prioux worked on him, the back responded and he was more like the old Xander at regional. If he doesn’t have any more problems, I like his chances at state.”
Duncan also likes Lincoln’s chances. The younger brother won five tournaments during the season, as well as the district championship. With two more years of high school, he’s set up for a Braden Bailey, Jack Burke type run as the area’s dominant player.
“Lincoln’s picked up a lot of distance off the tee,” said Duncan, “and that’s put him in position to take advantage of the wedge game, which is his strong suit. He’s always had good distance control with his short irons and wedges.”
The Parks brothers and Orangefield will be zeroing in on the state championship May 22-23 at Jimmy Clay Golf Course in Austin. Duncan expects to be there to watch every shot and would love nothing better than to see another 1-2 Parks finish . . .
CHIP SHOTS: After Orangefield, the Port Neches-Groves girls had the best area showing at a regional tournament. The Lady Indians posted totals of 380-382 for a 762 that was good for fifth out of 13 schools in the 5A, Region 3 gathering at Margaritaville Golf Club.
Ava Borne paced the Lady Indians with a 180 (93-87). Other scores that counted were Tatum Bean’s 183 (93-90), a 198 (92-106) by Jeannie Truong and a 201 (102-99) by Taryn DeJean.
The PNG boys finished 9th out of 15 teams in their 5A regional at Margaritaville with a 693 (343-350). Evan Klutts was the Indians low man at regional for the second consecutive year with a 163 (82-81). Other counting scores came from Layton Webb 173 (87-86), Lake Edwards 174 (88-86) and Jaxson Wolf 189 (92-97).
Bridge City’s girls finished 12th out of 14 teams in 4A, Region III at Bearkat Golf Club in Huntsville. Counting scores included Ashley Hale 198 (96-102), Saylor Moreau 207 (100-107), Chloe Wedekind 240 (126-114) and Heidi Broussard 256 (126-130).
Nederland’s Mya Wimer, competing as a medalist in 5A, shot 204 (106-98). LC-M’s Cassie Grizzafi, also playing a medalist, posted 238 (125-113) in 4A girls and the Bears’ Gavin Lafitte carded 207 (109-98) in 4A boys . . .
Both Chris Stroud and Andrew Landry, and their respective partners, William McGirt and Austin Cook, missed the 10-under-par cut of 134 at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Stroud-McGirt posted 138 on 68-70 while Landry-Cook signed for 140 (66-74).
Lamar ex MJ Daffue and his partner, Eric van Rooyen, tied for 26th with a 17-under 271. The South Africa duo had been tied for 9th after 54 holes, but stumbled to a three-over-par 39 on Sunday’s back nine . . .
In the Monday Senior 50 Plus 2 ball at Babe Zaharias, the team of Keith Mullins, Jeff Rinehart, Tony Trevino and Charles Perez won the front at minus 1 and tied the back at even. Also even on the back was the foursome of James Vercher, Cap Hollier, Art Turner and Don MacNeil.
Closest to the pin winners were Mullins (No. 2, 12-4), Keith Marshall (No. 7, 5-6), Rinehart (No. 12, 20-9 and No. 15 (3-5) . . .
In the Thursday Senior 2 ball, the team of Jim Cady, Mullins, Rick Pritchett and Paul Duplantis scored a sweep with minus 4, minus 3. . .
The Wednesday Zaharias DogFight was played in an all-points count format. Winning with 27 was the team of Ceasar Chavez, Pritchett, MacNeil and Lonnie Mosley. Second with 26 points was the foursome of Gary Whitfill, Mike Kibodeaux, Rusty Hicks and Dan Flood . . .
Closest to the pin winners were Rufus Reyes (No. 2, 5-6), Hollier (No. 7, 14-2), Chavez (No. 12, 2-6) and Perez (No. 15, 5-6).
Golf news should be e-mailed to Bob West at email@example.com.