Ace Earns Local Pro A Berth In Buick Title Tournament

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Chaparral Pines golf pro Shawn McCarthy, a former NFL punter, is bound for the Buick Scramble Sectional Championships with an eye on earning a trip to Florida and a handshake from Tiger Woods.

"Buick hosts winners of the sectionals at the national championships at Disney World," the pro said. "Tiger Woods is the honorary chairman of the scramble and will present trophies to the national champions."

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Shawn McCarthy shows the form he hopes will help him in the Buick Scramble Sectional Championships.

McCarthy advances to the sectional championships May 19 at Palm Valley Golf Course in Goodyear as the playing pro on a four-person team that captured the Buick Scramble Payson championship April 2 at Chaparral Pines.

"At sectionals, each local winning team takes along a pro to make up a five-person team; I'm the pro going," McCarthy said.

On the four-person team are Chaparral Pines club members Rich Lesniak, Steve Johnson, Paul Nacario and Tom Beck.

Johnson is from Payson, the other three team members are Valley residents.

According to McCarthy, the final hole of regulation play in the local championship tournament turned into a cliffhanger when Lesniak carded a hole-in-one to force a sudden-death playoff. In sudden death, Lesniak's team eagled the second playoff hole to claim the local title.

The dramatic ace occurred on the par-3, 143-yard 4th hole where Lesniak used an 8-iron to chalk up his second career hole-in-one.

The ace propelled the team into a tie for first and forced the sudden-death playoff with a 16-under-par card.

On the second playoff hole, Beck sunk a 6-foot eagle putt to nail down the victory and the trip to the sectional championships.

For the hole-in-one, Lesniak received two free round-trip Delta Airline tickets to any spot in the United States, from Steve Coury Buick, the local scramble sponsor.

The Chaparral Pines tournament was one of more than 1,500 local championships held nationwide. The sectional showdown at Palm Valley will be one of 104 PGA championships.

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