Payson Teen Wins At National Tournament

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A Payson teenager is making a name for himself on one of the country's most prestigious golf courses.

Billy Bob Hoyt, 16, traveled almost 2,000 miles last week to participate in a national youth tournament contested on the Wild Wing Plantation course in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Wild Wing is considered "America's Finest 72-Hole Golf Reserve."

Although Hoyt was playing the course for the first time, he put on a determined come-from-behind effort to win the tournament championship.

At the conclusion of the first 18-holes of play, Hoyt stood alone in third place.

On the second day of play, Hoyt made up six strokes to overtake the leaders and win the title with a card of 162.

Second place was garnered by a Virginia golfer who finished at 166.

According to the Hoyt's father and coach, Bob, who also made the trip, the Wild Wing course "prided itself on having greens much like the ones at Augusta National, which made the short game very important."

Rising to the challenge of the course, Hoyt was able to win primarily because of his outstanding play on the greens.

What made the tournament even more challenging was the fact that Hoyt had to battle jet lag and the humid weather.

"I felt those conditions affected his club selection," his father said.

In addition to the trip to South Carolina, Hoyt is playing on the Junior Golf Association of Arizona tour and was a member of last year's Payson High School 3A state championship team.

When not participating in tournaments, he travels to Arizona State University's Karsten course in Tempe where he works with one of the Sun Devil's swing coaches.

According to his father, Hoyt would like to play even more national events "but the expense is tremendous, so we are looking for sponsors."

If they can be found, Hoyt will compete in youth tournaments in either Virginia, Florida or Georgia.

For more information, call Bob Hoyt at 472-6834.

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