Three years ago on the 14th of July, 2019, the Port Neches-Groves team consisting of Andrew Landry and Chris Stroud had their highest ever team performance in an PGA Tour event. Landry was in the lead, and held the 54-hole lead, was at the top of the field on the John Deere Classic. Stroud was just behind at T4.
The future could not be more brighter for two Pea Patch alumni who overcome adversity to get to where they are. Based on their strong performance in the Deere Golf Championship, there was ample reason to believe the arrow pointed up to Southeast Texas’ favorite golfing boys.
In fact, there could be some positive days in the coming days However, the clouds in form of persistent injuries are now causing doubts regarding how both athletes will fare. In a way, it was brought to the forefront at the most recent John Deere.
Stroud who was playing in his first tournament since the end of February, and for only the 14 the event in the past two years, performed good, only to be degraded by poor playing. He was unable to make the cut following rounds of 71-70, and was forced to leave with a few physical problems.
Landry, who made his first start in more than three months this week on the Travelers was a rousing success with a second-day score of 67 but quickly moved back to the Deere after beginning with a 777. It appeared that he was returning with four birdies on his course to his first nine 34 on Friday, but he abruptly pulled out due to persistent shoulder issues.
Both were set to play this week however, Landry declares he’s not participating in this year’s Barbasol Classic being played in Kentucky. Stroud, based on how well he struck the ball in John Deere, is keen to play a round but was in a trance early in the week. His heart is saying yes. His feelings and judgment are against it.
“It’s going be a last-minute choice,” he said Monday. “Every week looks like a last-minute decision. Even with the delay, I’m hit the ball nearly as good as I’ve ever. Had I putted half decently – the score was no. 118 on the list of strokes gained and I’d be in the top 10. I’m confident that I can fix the putt.”
The most encouraging thing for Stroud, who has only made two cuts in the 14 attempts since mid-July 2020, was the fact that there was no issue with his lower back as well as his recently surgically repaired left hand bothered the athlete. However, there was an awful amount of pain within his right shoulder, an ache he believes was caused by the wrist surgery that got ever more painful.”
“To be honest, I really am not sure,” he said. “I do not have to rush to be ready. I’m left with 11 starts on my medical card and could make use of them in the coming season. I can also consider trying to get my tour card during the Korn Ferry Finals. It’s probably not the most smart choice for me to do. But when I’m putting well, I’m sure I’ll be able to contend.”
This, of course, depends on the body part that is breaking down.
Landry however, is back at home in Austin conducting some soul-searching as he contemplates the next steps. Two-under 34 of his nine-hole debut on Friday seemed good on the scorecard, but it resulted in shoulder pain that he’s not prepared to bear.
“I was suffering so much that it was not a good idea to push through the pain,” he said. “I realized I likely to not make cutting, but why would I punish myself even more. I was struggling with every swing. I’m trying to figure out the cause and figure out what needs to be done to fix it.”
Landry’s initial step was to have him and his partner to spend the entire weekend studying a detailed video on his swings at different times throughout his career. One of the findings was that there’s an issue with his hip rotation that causes stress on his shoulders.
“I am kind of at a crossroads” said the man. “My body is hurting so badly playing the sport I love isn’t really fun. I’m not sure how many times I’ve considered quitting. However, I am convinced that there are answers, I’m only trying to discover them. I’ll be working with an exercise instructor and performing lots of soft tissue exercises as well as having an chiropractor examine me. The plan is to participate in 3M. 3M in Minnesota in the next two weeks.”
A complication in the comebacks of Stroud as well as Landry can be described as Father Time. Stroud is 40and Landry is close to turning 35. It’s young, however old in the PGA Tour dynamic that includes an endless flow of promising young players.
CHIP SHOT The chance to play at Beaumont Country Club triggered the largest turnout of the year at the Southern Texas PGA Junior Tour event on Monday. Luke Tortorice of Beaumont shot an 71-under-par to beat Julian Matthews of Beaumont by an inch in the Boys 15-18.
In the other Junior Tour flights, Tatum Bean of Groves took the lead in the Girls’ 15-18 age group with an 81. Logan Houl of Diboll took Boys 13-14 with a score of 70. In Lumberton, Annie Whitehead placed first in Junior Links Girls 13-14 with the total of 9 holes of 44 as well Colby Chandler of Humble took Little Linkers 9-hole Red with 49.
The Monday, June 28 Junior Tour stop at Brentwood Country Club was a great opportunity to watch Evan Klutts of Port Neches and Jeremy Blackwell of Beaumont tie for first place with four-over 76s. Bean was awarded her second title of the week by scoring an 81 in the Girls 15-18 age group and Houl continued with a 75 for Boys 13-14.
Other results included Whitehead back her Beaumont Country Club victory with 45 on Junior Links Girls 13-14 and Liam Kamas of League City win Little Linksters Boys 11-12, 9 hole Red with 45.
In the Senior 50 + 2 ball held at Zaharias on Monday morning, the group consisting of Ed Holley, Gary Fontenot, Roger Koch and Stu Ellis took the front spot at two points less. In the back the trio comprised of Bob West, Don MacNeil and Charles Leard, with the assistance of a ghost player was first placed with a minus 1.
Winners of the closest to the pin These were Ellis (No. 7 10, 7) as well as Leard (No. 12 12-6).
The scoring of points was the format of The Wednesday Zaharias DogFight. Winners with 26 points were the team consisting of Gary Whitfill, Bobby Wactor Jeff Rinhart and ghost Darrel Mouille. Teams led by Rusty Hicks, Kenny Robbins and Ron LaSalle tied for second with 25 points.
Winners closest to the pin included Lonnie Mosley (No. 2, No. 12), MacNeil (No. 7,) as well as Rinehart (No. 15).
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