Rim country teen-agers Brandon Kelley and Billy Bob Hoyt are rapidly becoming rock-solid players on the state's junior golf scene.
Kelley's accomplishments this summer include winning the "Sparky" award at the recently concluded Arizona State University-sponsored youth golf camp. The citation goes annually to the camper who displays outstanding attitude, character and work ethic.
According to Brandon's father, Kevin, ASU coaches praised Brandon as "a good leader who was attentive in all the activities and got along well with all the 50 other youngsters in the camp."
Young Kelley, who now sports a new Sun Devil hat, says the experience in Tempe makes him want to some day play golf for Arizona State.
"I'd really like to go there. It's cool," he said.
In addition to winning the coveted Sun Devil award, Kelley also turned in his first sub-par card of the season while playing in the Phoenix Junior Championships at Cave Creek. That feat came on the back nine holes where he finished 1-under-par 35.
In other junior tournament competition at Sanctuary Golf Course in Scottsdale, Kelley carded a 79 to finish third in a field of 50 plus youngsters.
Billy Bob discovers gold
Hoyt's accolades include winning top honors at the Junior Golf Association of Arizona sectional championship tournament played June 26 at Dove Valley Ranch. Hoyt ran away with the tournament title, carding a 73. His nearest competitor, a Phoenix youngster, finished with a 77, Bob Hoyt, the teen's father and coach, said.
In the 18-hole event, the Payson golfer shot a 1-under-par 35 on the front nine and a 38 on the backside.
The back nine, Bob Hoyt said, is the tougher portion of the course to play.
Both Hoyt and Kelley, school chums who will be freshmen at Payson High next school year, participated June 20 and 21 in the Scottsdale City Championships played at Gainey Ranch Golf Club.
Toiling in the 13-14 age division against 65 opposing golfers from around the state, Hoyt ended play tied for 7th with a tally of 155. Chalking up a 165, Kelley was 12th.
Both youngsters intend on taking a brief respite from the links for the Independence Day holiday before returning to the JGAA tour.