When ex-Tempe High School basketball coach Troy Neal hung up his whistle years ago, he turned to life as a motivational speaker and cattle rancher.
He might want to have tried golfing.
As a member of the Payson Men's Golf Association, Neal is at the top of his game as evidenced by his March 26 performance in a low-gross and low-net tournament.
Carding a 70, the former coach won the first-flight low-gross championship. By swatting to within 11 feet, 1 inch of the flag on No. 17, he also pocketed closest-to-the-pin prize money.
In the battle for low-gross honors in the second flight, Roger Poole took the title with a 79. Doug Talbot's card of 93 earned him a first-place, low-gross finish in the third flight.
In first-flight low-net scoring, Dick Harding (66) edged runner-up Chris Cumpton (67) for honors.
Herb Sherman (68) claimed the low-net title in the second flight. Sherman (68) was second and Tony Mularski (69) finished third.
In the third flight, Ward Johnson (68) swung his way to laurels by slipping past silver medalist Hugh Templeton (70).
Closest-to-the-pin winners included Jim Colceri (No. 2; 11 feet, 11 inches), Dick Harding (No. 5; 6 feet, 5 inches), Tom Mallett (No. 8; 13 feet), Ralph Lindo (No. 14; 9 feet, 1 inch) and Neal.
The tournament marked the 2002 debut of the PMGA. Originally the season was to have teed off March 19 at Payson Golf Course. That event was cancelled due to the course's wet conditions.