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BOB WEST ON GOLF — Hoot Gibson latest to bag albatross at Babe Zaharias

Based on available odds, the chances of a golfer celebrating an albatross – three under par on a hole – is roughly 6 million to 1. To put that in perspective – only 18 pros have scored an albatross in the history of golf’s four major championships, and there has not been one since Nick Watney in the 2012 U.S. Open at Olympic Club in San Francisco.

Something weird, then, as was pointed out in this space last summer, is going on at Babe Zaharias.

Hoot Gibson of Lumberton contributed to that weirdness by sinking a 250-yard, 3 wood for a 2 on the par 5, 13th hole last Wednesday. The closest witnesses – Peanut Lawson and James Musgrove – to the latest albatross at Zaharias got a birds-eye view since they on putting on 13th when Gibson’s ball rolled onto the green and into the hole.

By itself, Gibson’s albatross could be shrugged off as just as odds-breaking accomplishment. But it’s a different story when you consider it was the fourth albatross at Zaharias in roughly 13 months. The normal rate would be one maybe every five years.

Kane Segura got the craziness started last March when he holed a 220-yard, 3-wood from behind No. 1 green on the par 5, 9th. Segura, because his tee ball cleared a hazard and wound up on another fairway, didn’t even realize what he’d accomplished because he thought he was due a penalty shot for where his drive landed.

Aaron Rogers followed up three months later with almost a ho-hum albatross by sinking his 5-iron second on the par 5, 3rd. Last than a week later Gary Geoffroy celebrated yet another albatross when he holed his 180-yard, second on the par 5, 9th.

A couple of additional thoughts to ponder if all this has you dreaming of joining the albatross club. Statistics say only 10 percent of golfers hit the ball far enough to reach a par 5 in 2. Beyond that, the odds are better of being struck by lightning that recording an albatross.

Beware of lightning strikes at Zaharias.

CHIP SHOTS: Andrew Landry returns to the scene of his first PGA Tour victory this week, looking for a turnaround of sorts. Landry, of course, won the 2018 Valero Texas Open with a 72-hole total of 271 on rounds of 69-67-67-68.

In his title defense in 2019, Landry missed the cut after shooting 71-75-146. Due to the COVID shutdown, there was no Texas Open last year. In his first crack at the San Antonio event in 2016, the PN-G ex tied for 51st with a 287 total.

Landry has missed the cut in his last two starts – shooting 72-75 at the Players Championship and 79-73 at the Honda Classic.

PN-G ex Braden Bailey had the comfort zone benefit of being paired with former Baylor teammate Cooper Dossey in Tuesday’s opening round of the Mackenzie Canadian PGA Tour Q school at the Wigwam Golf Club in Litchfield Park, Arizona.

What is the final Mackenzie Tour Q school features 103 players competing over 72 holes. The medalist is exempt into the tour’s full schedule, with the next five low scores getting access into seven of 15 tournaments. The next 25 get preferred status for Monday qualifiers.

It is still up in the air whether the Mackenize Tour will operate in Canada this summer or play its tournaments in the United States.

After day one of the District 21-5A golf tournament at Beaumont Country Club, Port Neches-Groves seemed a lock to win another championship, was in position to send two teams to regional and featured the individual leader.

Jaxon Wolf, who was playing as a medalist, posted the day’s low round of 78. PN-G Purple was the team leader at 337 while PN-G White was tied with Barbers Hill for second at 366. Nederland was back in the pack at 435.

Devin Galloway led the way for PN-G Purple with an 81. Other counting scores were Jason Adams (82), Dalton Shields (85) and Jake Gauthier (89). For PN-G White, Michael Blotner led the way with an 83. Lake Edwards with next with a 91, followed by Cyrus Griffin’s 95 and Evan Klutts’ 97.

Nederland’s scores included Charles Morgan at 97, Tyler Louvier at 102, Jacob Kotzur at 108 and Owen Harren at 128.

The final round was scheduled to be played Tuesday at Eagle Pointe Golf Club.

In the Senior 50 Plus 2 ball at Babe Zaharias, the team of Hollis Whorton, Ray Darbonne, Keith Marshall and Darrell Mouille won the front with minus 1. On the back, the team of Russ Gloede, Joe Gongora, Rick Pritchett and ghost player Richard Menchaca prevailed with minus 5.

The Wednesday DogFight at Zaharias was played in an all-points count format. Placing first with 30 points was the team of Cricket Owen, John House, Ron Mistrot and Dillard Darbonne. Second with 28 points was the foursome of Gloede, Larry Johnson, Marshall and Frank LeBlanc.

Closest to the pin winners were Dan Flood (No. 2, 9 feet, 3 inches), Ron LaSalle (No. 7, 15-10), John House (No. 12, 7-7)) and James Johnson (No. 15, 13-10).

Golf news should be e-mailed to rdwest@usa.net.

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