Much like the Rim country's soaring temperatures, local golf tournament action is heating up.
Mother Nature bears the responsibility for the 90-plus degree temperatures, but the smoldering inferno on the links has been ignited by the ambitious offerings of the Payson Men's Golf Association.
Last week, the group participated in a pair of tournaments that had members battling one another for red-hot bragging rights. First, there was the annual member/guest two-day tournament that featured a combined low-net format. No sooner had that fray wrapped up, than the members returned to Payson Golf Course May 24 for a two-man best-ball shoot out. The second tournament concludes Wednesday, May 31 with the final round of play.
Format for that battle, PMGA member John Calderwood said, allowed players to pick their own partners and compete in flights according to the total of the two players' handicaps. At the conclusion of the tournament Wednesday, three sets of winners will be honored first-day, second-day and two-day champions.
Flight-one, first-day champions Tom Harris and Ted Walls carded a 59 to out duel runners-up Bill Overton and Harry Sogan who finished with a 60.
John Pauley and Sid Green also carded a 60, but they took third place by virtue of a scorecard playoff.
In second-flight play, Butch Krauss and Ron Harte emerged victorious after compiling a 59. Trailing were the teams of Herb Sherman/Bill Nilsen (61) and Ralph Lindo/John Calderwood (62).
In the third flight, Frank Karnes and Armand Werle ran away with top-gun laurels, cruising to a 58.
With a 60, Roland Kruse and Morris Kruope were second. Finishing third was the team of Don Nicholas/Don Castleman (61).
Closest to the pin
All top-three finishing teams in the trio of flights boasted closest-to-the-pin champions.
Harris was a prize-money winner on the 155-yard, eighth hole, finishing 8 feet, 3 inches away from the flag.
Calderwood was 9 feet shy of an ace on the 150-yard fifth hole.
Overton enriched his link's coffers with a 12 foot, 10 inch lie on the 124-yard 14th hole.
Pauley was closest on the 135-yard 17th hole with a tee shot that left him 6 feet, 10 inches away.
Member/guest shoot out
According to Calderwood, Harry Sogan's play was the highlight of the member/guest shoot-out.
"He was the top shooter for the two days with a 75 and 77 for a low gross score of 152," Calderwood said.
His best tee shot of the tournament was turned in on the second day, while playing hole 17. There, his effort left him 6 feet, 6 inches shy of the pin, earning closest-to-the-pin bragging rights.
Stogan's exceptional play, combined with a solid performance by his partner Jim Baker, earned the team a fourth-place finish in the final standings.
Keith Boxberger and Andy Rable took top honors, carding a tournament-low 261.
Second place went to Bob Rable and Andrew Greenwood with a 269.
Finishing at 270, Rick Korth and Jim Baker who played with Korth as well as Sogan were third.
Closest-to-the-pin prize money winners on the second day included Gene Robinson (No. 5; 4 feet, 5 inches), Joel Wood (No. 8; 5 feet, 10 inches), Chad Murphy (No. 14; 6 feet, 8 inches) and Sogan.
In second-day action, champions were Charles Nardin (No. 5; 4 feet, 3 inches), Jerry Overton (No. 8; 6 feet), Ralph Lindo (No. 14; 11 feet) and Greg William (No. 17; 1 foot, 1 inch).