As the clock ticks down on a 2021-22 PGA Tour season noteworthy in the big picture for the disruption caused by the LIV Tour, it will be looked upon locally as the most frustrating and disappointing year ever for the Port Neches-Groves duo of Chris Stroud and Andrew Landry.
Between them the Pea Patch alums have made only 5 of 25 cuts and banked a mere $578,261. With age becoming a factor for both, it’s pretty much been a lost season – mostly because of ongoing injury woes.
For Stroud, 40, it’s been back and wrist problems. For Landry, who will be 35 Sundays, it’s been shoulder and hip pain. Ironically, with the Wyndham Championship marking the end of the PGA Tour’s regular season, both say they are the healthiest they’ve been in some time.
What that means for Stroud is using the Wyndham as a tune-up for the Korn Ferry Tour’s three-tournament finals starting in two weeks in Boise, Idaho. It’s his best hope for him to keep from losing his PGA Tour card. That can be done with a top-25 overall finish in the three-event series.
“The back is good,” says Stroud. “I just need to get some consistency with my putter for the Korn Ferry finals. If I need it, I still have seven tournaments for next season on my PGA Tour medical.”
Historically, as underscored by his consistently amazing performance in the long-ago PGA Tour School qualifying tournaments which he survived three times, Stroud has always been really good when he’s under the gun.
So stay tuned for the Albertson’s Boise Open Aug. 18-21, the Nationwide Children’s Championship from Columbus, Ohio Aug. 25-28 and the KFT Tour Championship from Newburgh, Indiana Sept. 1-4. All will be televised by the Golf Channel.
Landry, meanwhile, is just hoping to close out a bad year on at high note at the Wyndham, and maybe even sneak into the first round of the Fed Ex Cup playoffs. On the revised points list that eliminates those who participated in LIV tournaments, he’s No. 152.
He’d probably need a top 10, maybe a top 5, to climb into the 125 players who qualify for the first round of the playoffs.
Interestingly enough, the only two cuts Landry has made this year are a T4 at Sanderson Farms and a T7 at Mayakoba. The flip side is he hasn’t made a cut since last November. But some swing adjustments have given him hope.
“It’s been a roller coaster, but my game is getting better ever day,” he said, after coming up short last week in Detroit with rounds of 70-75. “I feel like I just need to clean it up a bit. I’m not 100 percent sharp on everything but this is a funny game that could click all at once.
“I’m just going to focus on staying feeling good with my shoulders and just keep working my process and whatever happens happens.”
The good news for Landry is his PGA Tour card is still good for one more season, no matter what.
One other player with local ties worth mentioning in a season-ending scenario is former Lamar star MJ Daffue. The 2011 Southland Conference Player of the Year has had an outstanding season on the Korn Ferry Tour and has already earned a PGA Tour card for 2022-23.
Daffue, who led the US Open by three shots during the second round before finishing T31, is eighth in Korn Ferry Tour points. He’s had a second, two thirds, six top 10s and has made 21 of 27 cuts.
With $251,082 in official earnings, which is huge on the Korn Ferry, Daffue will be looking to improve his PGA Tour status in the remaining two regular season tournaments and the KFT finals.
CHIP SHOTS: Preston DeSerrano of Nederland was the only area player to manage a top 25 finish in the Chevron STPGA Junior Tour Championships played over the Palmer Course at The Woodland TPC last week. DeSerrano placed T23 in Boys 15-18 with a 36-hole total of 159 (80-79).
Others who advanced to the Junior Tour Finals and their finish included Trinity Smith of Winnie T26 with a 204 (102-102) and Payton Hidalgo of Sour Lake T27 with 218 (101-117) in Girls 15-18. Foster Cecka of Port Neches finished T34 in Boys 13-14 with a 173 (86-87).
In the Junior Links finals Maggie Stutz of Groves finished T19 in Girls 11-12, 9-hole red with a 102 (54-48) and Grayson Fletcher of Vidor was T28 in Boys 11-12, 9 hole red with a 93 (49 -44).
The Monday Senior 50 Plus game at Babe Zaharias was played in a best ball format. Tying for the front at plus 3 and winning the back at even was the team of Jim Cady, Aubrey Ward, John House and Glenn Knight. Tying the front was the foursome of Kenny Robbins, Cap Hollier, Jeff Rinehart and Dwane Benoit.
Closest to the pin winners were Ward (No. 2), Dan Flood (No. 7), Jerry May (No. 12) and Danny Robbins (No. 15).
In the Super Saturday 2 ball at Zaharias, the team of Cady, Ted Freeman, Jimmy Hemler, Ron Hicks and Benoit claimed the front with minus 2. Minus 1 won the back for the team of Bill Hanley, Earl Richard, Hollier and George Adams .
The Friday 2 ball at Zaharias saw the team of Rusty Hicks, Hollier, May and a ghost player take the front with plus 2. There was a tie at plus 1 on the back between the team of Kenny Robbins, Hemler, Charles Perez and Keith Marshall and the foursome of Gene Jones, Ward, Dan Harrington and Benoit.
Closest to the hole winners were Hicks (No. 2, 14 feet, 6 inches), Benoit (No. 7, 8-6) and Keith Mullins (No. 12 (3-9).
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