BOB WEST — Numerous Orange County golfers up for major honors at Junior Golf Awards Banquet
Published 12:10 am Wednesday, May 17, 2023
It’s going to be a busy second half of the month for Austin Williams and 5 Under Golf Center, with the Beaumont facility literally living up to its name by being the focal point of two major events, in addition to re-opening its outdoor venue.
First up will be the fourth playing of what began in 2020 as the Babe Zaharias Open, before evolving into the Beaumont Emergency Hospital Open. Played under the umbrella of the Women’s All-Pro Tour, it’s set for May 23-26 at Beaumont Country Club.
5 Under will serve as the sort of unofficial tourney headquarters, hosting the Welcome Party and the Pro Am Party. Aspiring female pros from all over the United States and several foreign countries will battle for a purse of $75,000, including a $15,000 winner’s check.
Previous winners are Miranda Wang of Pebble Beach, California, last year with an 11-under par 277, Kaitlyn Papp of Austin at 273 in 2021 and Lamar ex Julie Aime from France who won the inaugural event in 2020 with a 54-hole total of 208.
Anyone interested in participating as a sponsor or pro-am contestant or just wanting more information should go to the tourney link at Beaumont-Emergency-Hospital-Open.PerfectGolfEvent.com.
Following the WAPT tourney, 5 Under on May 31 will host the 13th annual Babe Zaharias High School Junior Golf Awards Banquet. The awards are an idea conceived by former PNG golf coach Jerry Honza and heartily embraced by the late W.L. Pate Jr. as the long-time president of the Babe Zaharias Foundation.
Former Lamar University golf coach Brian White, who led the Cardinals to 13 conference championships, as well as two NCAA top 10 finishes, will be the guest speaker. White, who coached the men’s and women’s teams at LU, is currently the Astros Golf Foundation Director of Sales.
Williams gladly stepped up to take charge of organizing the awards after Pate’s untimely passing and Honza’s departure. He announced finalists in four boys’ and girls’ categories on Monday.
Orangefield’s Parks brothers are again front and center.
Lincoln Parks, the Underclassmen of the Year winner in 2022, is favored to follow older brother Xander as the boys’ winner. The pair hope to lead the Bobcats to the 3A state championship next week in Austin. Lincoln, a sophomore, has won five times and was runner-up to Xander at regional.
Xander was favored to repeat as the Zaharias winner, but saw his senior year seriously hampered by a back injury. The other finalist is Kelly’s Vincent Mazzola, Mazzola led the Bulldogs to the state tournament and placed 14th overall.
Finalists for Girls Player of the Year are 2022 runner-up Anabel Cardenas of Kelly, Hallie Westfall of Hardin Jefferson and Trinity Smith of East Chambers.
In Boys Underclassman of the Year, the finalists are Kelly’s Julian Matthews and Drake Andrepont of Hardin Jefferson. Girls’ finalists in the category are 2022 winner Tatum Bean of Port Neches-Groves, Peyton Hidalgo of Hardin-Jefferson and Peyton Caywood of Nederland.
Xander Parks is also a finalist for the Boys Character Award, along with Preston Deserrano of Nederland and Braden Tappe of Vidor. Girls finalists are Bridge City teammates Ashley Hale and Saylor Moreaux.
Boys finalists for the Underclassmen Character Award are Connor Tentrup of PN-G and Drake Andrepont of Hardin-Jefferson. Girls finalists are HJ’s Hidalgo, PN-G’s Ava Borne and Chloe Olson of West Brook.
There was only one nominee for Coach of the Year on both sides, so Orangefield’s Todd Trawhorn will repeat on the boys’ side. Brandon Prouse of Deweyville is the Girls finalist.
Meanwhile, Williams is gearing up to re-open 5 Under’s outdoor venue Friday. The facility will officially unveil new netting and outdoor upgrades and re-open the driving range for full golf and game play.
CHIP SHOTS: Chris Stroud delivered his most solid performance since he finished T5 in the RSM Open last November. Stroud shot rounds of 68-68-67-70 for an 11-under 273 at the AT&T Byron Nelson in McKinney, placed T50 and pocketed $22,216.
It was another tough week for PN-G ex Andrew Landry. Landry missed his fifth consecutive cut on rounds of 75-72. Lamar ex MJ Daffue also went home early after shooting 73-73.
In the Monday Senior 50 Plus 2 ball at Zaharias, the team of Ted Freeman, Lee Bertrand, Tom Fenner and Lonnie Mosley won the front with minus 1 and tied the back at even. Also even on the back was the foursome of Kenny Robbins, Glenn Judice, Rusty Hicks and Harrell Guidry.
Closest to the pin winners were Tony Trevino (No. 2, 7-5), Jeff Rinehart (No. 7, 7-8), Dwayne Benoit (No. 12, 10-6) and Cap Hollier (No. 15, 9-11).
The Friday Senior 2 ball was played in a par 4 format because of wet conditions. Scoring a sweep with minus 7 and minus 13 was the team of James Vercher, Tony Trevino, Mike Tibbets and Harry Green.
Closest to the pin winners were Bob Luttrull (No. 2, 11-5), Judice (No. 7, 2-11), Jim Cady (No. 12, 11-3) and Ron LaSalle (No. 15, 2-7).
Golf news should be e-mailed to Bob West at email@example.com.