Junior Golf Proving Ground For Payson Pair

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A pair of fledgling Rim country linksters are heating up the Junior Golf Association of Arizona state tournament trail.

Jeffrey Kelley tied for eighth in the boys 10-and-under division at an 18-hole tournament July 10 and 11 at Aguila Golf Course in Phoenix.

Justin Shuman, a member of the Longhorn jayvees last year, finished eighth in the boys 15-and-under division at the Kingman City Junior Championships at the Cerbat Cliffs Golf Course.

Kelley was accompanied to the tournament by his older brother, Brandan, a four-year PHS golf star who will play next school year at Point Loma College in San Diego.

"(He's) good. I think he will probably be better than I was," Brandan said. "(His strength) is the way he hits the ball. He hits it good off the tee and in the fairways."

During the tournament, young Kelley was a model of consistency carding identical scores of 34 each day on the par 27 course. Brandan said his brother's performance was the best of his short career.

Kelley's two-day total of 67 was 15 strokes off the blistering pace of tournament champ Brett Wilson of Mesa.

Shuman finished at 87 and 76 (163) on the par 72 Kingman course. His second day score was one of the lowest in his age division. A 73 chalked up on the first day by Mesa's Justin Searie was the only score better than Shuman's tally.

PHS coach Bret Morse said that Shuman is one of the players who will be counted on to replace three standouts -- Billy Bob Hoyt, Troy Marrs and Kelley -- who graduated in the spring.

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