Payson Shoots Closer To Pin At Oak Creek

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Reveling in the opportunity to challenge the scenic Oak Creek Country Club designed by Robert Trent Jones, 41 members of the Payson Men's Golf Association showed up Thursday at the course near Sedona for an inter-club meet.

Having had their own four-man scramble tournament snowed out one week earlier, the PMGA members were itching for play, club spokesman John Calderwood said.

At Oak Creek in low-gross/low-net format, the surprise of the tourney turned out to be the closest-to-the-pin competition which is usually dominated by home golfers much more familiar with the course.

But on that day, it was the PMGA crew who copped honors, winning three of the four holes.

On the par 3, 160-yard 13th hole, Troy Neal proved old high school basketball coaches can play the game of golf well, swatting to within 3 feet, 9 inches of the pin. Neal is a retired Tempe High School coach turned Gila country rancher.

Doug Magnuson continued the PMGA's winning ways, pocketing prize money on the 185-yard 16th hole by finishing 5 feet, 11 inches away.

Kevin Kelly got the Payson members off and running early in the tournament when his effort landed closest on the 185-yard, 4th hole with a swat that left him just 11 feet 4 inches shy.

In addition to his closest-to-the-pin effort on hole 16, Magnuson took B flight low-gross tournament honors with an 89.

Also in the flight, Jack Inman copped a score card playoff victory over Jim Jones for the low-net championship. Both golfers finished play with identical tallies of 75.

In the A flight, Frank Szakal dominated low-gross action with an 81. James McDermott won low-net play, carding a 74. Ted Walls was one stroke off the pace.

In the C flight, James Furmisky was first in the low-gross standings with a 96. Ted Pettet took low-gross laurels finishing with a 70. Carding a 75, Tom Fox was second.

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