Four weeks ago the lead item in this column dealt with Bruce Lietzke undergoing surgery to have a malignant brain tumor removed. There was a request for those in the Southeast Texas golf community for pray for the recovery of the successful one-time PGA tour pro from Beaumont who has given back so much to area junior golf.
In the aftermath of the surgery, there is mostly good news to report.
Lietzke's doctors believe they were able to get all of the tumor. He started six weeks of radiation treatments last week, along with a daily chemo pill, and told me Monday that he's had little nausea and no loss of appetite or hair falling out.
The most noticeable impact for Lietzke thus far has been vision impairment. He has pretty much lost all peripheral vision, especially to his left side, and is somewhat limited in moving around. Driving a car is out of the question.
"I tend to tire easily and need a nap every afternoon," he said. "Other than that, I haven't had an real issues up to this point. I am starting to see better at a distance and am able to watch TV without seeing several images. I still don't do well trying to get on a computer."
Lietzke wanted to pass along his appreciation to all those who have prayed for him and who took the time to send best wishes in emails. He asked that people understand he is unable at this time to respond to emails.
One blessing that has helped him maintain a positive frame of mind is being in contact with former Lamar University golfer Jim Bishop. Bishop, who played at Lamar in the late 1960s, had the identical surgery two years ago and is a shining example to him of a battle that can be won.
"I have leaned on Jim a couple of times," he explained. "Jim talked me through his experience and things I probably should expect. Having somebody like that has really been a big help. It's comforting to know he's there for me."
Lietzke's cancer is one that doesn't show up in other parts of the body. It is strictly confined to the area of the brain. After several weeks of radiation and chemo, he will undergo an MRI that will tell his doctors if there are any new cells or if the tumor is trying to grow.
In the meantime, he welcomes your continued prayers.
Port Neches-Groves exes Chris Stroud and Andrew Landry are playing in PGA Tour and Web.com events this week. Stroud, who has missed three consecutive cuts by one shot, was able to get a spot in the AT&T Byron Nelson, which is being played for the final time at the Four Seasons Las Colinas.
Next year the Nelson is moving to a heralded new course - Trinity Forest - in south Dallas. Trinity Forest was designed by the team of Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore.
Landry, meanwhile is in Greenville, S.C. for the BMW Charity Pro-Am that will be played over three different courses. After winning in the Web.com's second event of the season, Landry has struggled a bit and has dropped to seventh on the money list. He needs to finish in the top 25 to reclaim a PGA Tour card.
Ronnie LaSalle of Nederland and John Veillon of Port Arthur authored their first ever holes in one last week at Babe Zaharias.
LaSalle used a pitching wedge from 97 yards for his ace on No. 15. Witnesses were Benny Sharpe, Charlie Leard and Ben Thornton.
Veillon's hole in one came on the 140-yard, seventh hole. He used a 6-iron. The shot was witnessed by Joe Benoit
David Ess, Kirk Roccaforte, Andy Meshwert and Kevin Mott teamed for a 55 Saturday to win the Bridge City Rotary Scramble at Babe Zaharias.
Closest-to-the-pin winners were W. Moore (No. 2), Roccaforte (No. 7), David J. Jones (No. 12) and Terry Schwertner (No. 15). Brian Gauthier and Gerald Robinson were long putt winners on No. 1 and No. 9, respectively.
Jimmy Scales claimed the long drive prize on No. 18 and Ess took the award for closest second shot on No. 11.
Nederland exes Shelbi Vincent and Reid Whaley finished 20th and 37th, respectively while competing for the University of Houston-Victoria in the PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championships at the PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Vincent had a 54-hole total of 240 on rounds of 83-79-78. Whaley was at 277 with scores of 97-89-91.
In the Senior Tuesday Twister Two Ball at Babe Zaharias, the team of Tom LeTourneau, Larry Reece, E.T. Robicheaux and Harold Wilkinson won the front with minus-1. On the back, the foursome of Cap Hollier, Rick Pritchett, John LeBlanc and Welton Simmons prevailed with minus 5.
The Monday Senior 50 Plus 2 ball game at Babe Zaharias saw the team of Benny Sharpe, Butch Pitman, Tony Trevino and Roger Baumer win the front with minus-7 and tie the back at minus-5. Also at minus-5 on the back were teams captained by Kenny Robbins and Adam Noel.
In the Saturday Super Senior 2 ball at Zaharias, the team of Javier Torres, Gary Fontenot, Charlie Leard and Cole Lee won the front in minus-1. On the back, there was a tie at minus-2 between the team of Bob West, Don MacNeil and Trevino and the foursome of Earl Richard, Harrell Guidry, Gary Hanan and Jay Hampson.
The Friday Senior 2 ball saw the team of Sharpe, Trevino, Eddie Delk and Ralph Childress score a sweep. They won the front in minus 5 and the back in minus-4.
Format for the Thursday Senior 55 Plus Game was a 6-6-6 with flighted two-man teams. Jim Huebel-Cap Hollier ran away from the competition in First Flight with a 61. Tying for second at 66 were the duos of Larry Johnson-Joe Gongora, Noel-Russ Gloede and Robbins-Earl Richard.
Bill Hanley-Harry Green won Second Flight with a 66, besting MacNeil-LaSalle by two strokes.
In Third Flight, Larry Foster-Paul Duplantis won with 70, edging Robert Stansbury-Mike Hollier and Bob Barnes-Charlie Perez by a stroke. Sid Ducote-Bill Lee took Fourth Flight with a 74. Second at 78 was Carl Certa-Allen Suire.
Closest to the pin winners were Jim Huebel (No. 2), Ray Darbonne (No. 7), Ducote (No. 12) and Barnes (No. 15).
The Wednesday Babe Zaharias DogFight had two teams tie for first. The foursome of Noel, Cody Metts, Charles Perez and Larry Rogers amassed 18 points, as did the team of Bim Morrow, Roy Martinez, David Sturgal and John Ramsey.
Closest to the pin winners were Richard (No. 2), Morrow (No. 7), Leard (No. 12) and LaSalle with his hole-in-one on No. 15.
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