Longhorn Golfers Second At State

Payson upsets Safford for second place at tourney

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Matt Bullard’s play on the Longhorn golf team helped earn Payson High School a second-place ranking at state.

With all four Longhorn players scoring at least one round in the 70s, the PHS golf team pulled off an upset in the 3A Arizona State Golf Championships.

The individual showings were good enough for a final tally of 652 and a second-place state tourney finish in the match held May 11 and 12 on the par 72 Poston Butte Golf Club near Florence.

Defending state champion Snowflake ran away with the state title scoring a 595. The win was not unexpected — almost everyone on the prep golf scene predicted an easy Lobo victory.

But the Longhorns runner-up finish was a jolt mostly because Safford was in the mix.

“We had not beaten Safford in any of the tour tournaments that we played against them this year,” coach Bret Morse said. “A great team effort led us to this come-from-behind victory.”

Cody Waterman (76 on day two), Tyler Apps (79 on day one), Filip Frojd (77 on day one) and Mason Dacanay (79 on day two) carded the Longhorns top scorers.

Overall in the 86-player field, Waterman was sixth at 157 and Apps took eighth with a 159.

Posting a 166, Frojd claimed 22nd and at 170, Dacanay was 29th.

The highlight of Payson’s play was a late charge that helped the Horns overcome Safford’s early lead.

“We were down to Safford by five strokes after the first day and rallied to beat them by 10 strokes on day two,” Morse said. “We played the last four holes at one under par as a team on day two — that closed out the win.

Safford finished third, five strokes behind Payson. Fountain Hills was fourth and Sedona fifth in the 15-team field.

Snowflake sophomore Kyle Jones, who carded a 66 on day one and 73 on day two, garnered gold medalist honors. His tally was one stroke off the 3A state tournament record. Jones was also the state champion last year.

Of the top five individual finishers, four were from Snowflake.

With the season at an end, Morse and his charges say they wish to thank the members and management at Chaparral Pines and The Rim Club “for all their generosity, support and use of facilities.”

The team also thanked the Credit for Kids golf donors whose generous contributions allow the school to offer a successful golf program.

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