Marrs To Pursue College Golf Career

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A third senior member of the Payson High School golf team will continue his career on the collegiate level.

Next year, Troy Marrs is scheduled to enroll at Harding University in Searcy, Ark. where he will be a member of the Bison men's golf team.

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Brandan Kelley, Troy Marrs and Billy Bob Hoyt will take their considerable golf skills to the collegiate level next school year.

Marrs joins fellow teammates Brandan Kelley and Billy Bob Hoyt in pursuit of their college golf careers. Hoyt is slated to attend the University of Hawaii and Kelley has accepted an offer to play for Point Loma College in San Diego, Calif.

The trio's opportunity to play collegiately is a huge achievement for coach Bret Morse and his Longhorn golf program.

It's rare for a Class 4A school to send two players to the next level; having three players advance is almost unheard of.

Marrs decided to accept the offer from Harding after visiting the school April 23 and 24. The NCAA Division Two school, located about 50 miles from Little Rock has a student body of about 5,500 students and an accomplished golf program.

Harding is a member of the Gulf South Conference along with 11 other southern universities.

While visiting Harding, Marrs had the opportunity to play a round of golf with Bison coach Nicky Boyd and other high schools seniors who were being recruited.

"I was happy with my game. I played really well," he said.

In collegiate golf, Marrs will have to adjust to the demands of playing two seasons -- one in the fall and another in the spring.

"That will be different," he said. Marrs is assured of holding down one of the eight positions on the varsity roster but to score he'll have to be among the Bisons' top-four finishers in each match.

"They play the same (format) as high schools do, play five and keep four (scores)," Marrs said.

At Harding, the Longhorn will major in exercise science with an eye towards someday becoming a trainer or coach.

At Payson High School, Marrs, Hoyt and Kelley led the Longhorns last season to the Class 4A Grand Canyon championship. The victory represented a remarkable achievement in that Payson was a rookie 4A member and the smallest school in the conference.

When the trio was juniors, they paced the Horns to a 3A East region title and state runner-up laurels.

For Marrs, his best prep outing was turned in during the final day of the 2003 state champion at Johnson Ranch. On the par 75 course, he finished with 72.

As a two-year varsity letter winner, Marrs was on the junior varsity squad as a freshman and sophomore. He attributes his interest in the game to his father who regularly took him along on golf outings.

"We played almost every Sunday," Marrs said.

Once he entered high school and began to play competitively on the prep level, it was Morse who molded his game.

"He's a remarkable coach," Marrs said. "To develop three players that can play in college is really something."

Morse agreed he does run a structured golf program but also praised the efforts of the three seniors.

"There is lots of talent out there but not lots of talent willing to work hard," he said. "Those kids worked hard and were willing to do whatever I asked even when it wasn't fun."

Billy Bob and Brandan

Hoyt's decision to attend the University of Hawaii came after a three-day visit to the school campus in mid-October.

"I just liked everything about it and I liked the coach (Ronn Miyashiro)," Hoyt said.

Hoyt is wavering on his academic major, but says it probably will be business administration with an emphasis on marketing. The Hawaii campus is located on the island of Oahu where team members have about seven topnotch courses they can play.

Last month, Kelley declared his attentions to play for Point Loma -- a NAIA school located in San Diego. The teen said he opted for the school because it was a place where he could play year-round and take advantage of a strong academic curriculum. Kelley will major in kinesiology.

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