A 68-year old man who survived a near-death experience four years ago at Payson Golf Course has used the local course as a stage to win the Payson Men’s Golf Association prestigious Club Championship.
Frank Szakal won the crown Aug. 26 by defeating Jessie Smith “2 up 1” in the tournament finale.
The score means Szakal was up two holes with one to play.
“Jessie ran out of holes,” PMGA spokesman Herb Sherman said.
On Oct. 5, 2005, it was CPR administered by four golfing buddies and Laura Meyocks, an RN passing by the scene, which meant the difference between life and death for Szakal.
After his heart stopped beating during a golf game at PGC, Meyocks and the four administered CPR until Payson Fire Department EMTs arrived and the stricken golfer was airlifted to a Phoenix hospital.
Today, Szakal is one of the finest golfers on the local scene as evidenced by his Club Championship win.
Further evidence of his links expertise exists in his low net win and closest-to-the-pin honors Aug. 19 at an interclub meet held at Elephant Rock near Williams.
His card of 65 was best among all who participated and his tee shot that rolled to within two feet of the flag on No. 14 earned him prize money.
Also in the club championship tournament at PGC, Gary Campbell won the first flight title by default over Doug Talbot.
In the second flight, Herb Sherman claimed the crown “1 up” against Steve Holmes.
Gary Rovetto defeated Tom Dahl “1 up” to win the third flight.
In the first flight of red or forward tees play, Jim McCutcheon took honors “5 up 4” against Larry Baker.
Ward Johnson lost “2 up” to Don Gyde in the second flight of red tees play.
Following the tournament, the PMGA’s annual putting championship was held. In it, defending champion Larry Baker slipped passed runner-up Gary Vaplon.
On the same day the PMGA club championships were decided, Troy Neal was playing his way to a first-place finish in an individual low net by flights tournament.
Neal and Warren Mulcahy both carded scores of 66 in the first flight, but Neal took first and Mulcahy fell to second on a scorecard playoff
With a 68, Roger Poole was third and Phil Wager took fourth.
Another scorecard playoff was needed to decide fifth and sixth places when Larry Smith and Ralph Lindo both posted cards of 69. Smith won the playoff and was fifth.
In the second flight, winners were Don Kisseberth (first; 62), Dick Harding (second; 64), Doug Bailey (third; 66), Ed Kuhns (fourth; 72), Steve Peacock (fifth; 72) and Frank Karnes (sixth; 75).
In the closest-to-the-pin competition, golfers struggled to reach the hole with none finishing closer than 10 feet, 5 inches.
Jessie Smith reached that mark on No. 17.
Other winners were Doug Bailey (No.2; 20 feet, 3 inches), Larry Smith (No. 5; 25 feet, 5 inches), Phil Wagner (No. 14; 15 feet, 3 inches) and Mulcahy (No. 17; 10 feet, 5 inches).
More from Williams
At Elephant Rock, Jessie Smith joined Szakal as a tournament champion by taking low gross honors in flight one with a 79.
Wager was first in the second flight of low net posting a 71. Van Bowman out-hit the hometown Williams golfers pocketing closest-to-the-pin prize money on No. 3 where he was within 10 feet.