Competing against 69 of the best teenage golfers in the state, Payson's Billy Bob Hoyt swung his way to a fifth-place finish at the Phoenix Metro Junior Championship last weekend at Cottonfields Course.
On the first day of the gold medal game, the 14-year-old carded a 75. In second-round play he finished with a 74, which included a three-under par effort on the final nine holes.
The highlight of the tournament for the youngster was an eagle on the par-5 18th hole.
"He sunk a 15-foot put for the eagle, which put him one stroke ahead of the sixth-place finisher," Hoyt's father, Bob, said.
Bob Hoyt attributed part of the youngster's success to "a new Titlist driver, like many of the professionals use, which has added several yards to his drives."
Billy Bob said those extra yards make it possible for him to reach the par-5 greens in two shots.
Next up for the fledgling linkster is the Milt Coggins Stroke Play tournament June 6, 7 and 8 at Antiqua course in Phoenix.
Bob Hoyt, who serves as one of his son's coaches, said the youngster "is finally playing closer to his ability, but will continue to practice hard for upcoming meets."
Throughout the summer, Billy Bob will compete on the Junior Golf Association of Arizona's Four Peaks circuit.
The youngster has been playing on the state's junior golf tour for the past three seasons and has rapidly developed a repuation as one of Arizona's up and coming players.
His interest in golf was sparked at a young age when child-sized clubs were not available.
To solve that problem, his father took out a hack saw and customized a set of family clubs to the boy's pint-size specifications.