It took a sudden death chip off to decide the A flight championship of the Payson Men’s Golf association two-man best ball tournament.
When the dust finally settled and frayed nerves calmed, the team of Gary Vaplon and Russ Morris emerged victorious over Tim Ernst and Ed Flores.
The two teams wrapped up the 18 holes dead-knotted at 57-57, forcing the chip off.
Also in A flight, just one stroke behind the winning duo were Jim Dalglesh and Larry Smith, who carded a 58.
For Smith, the tournament — played March 31 at Payson Golf Course — might be known as the “Larry Smith Show.”
In addition to taking third overall, he pocketed closest to the pin prize money on two holes — a feat members call “double dipping.”
Smith’s twin dips marked the third consecutive week PMGA members have accomplished such a feat.
On hole No. 17, Smith swatted to within 7 feet, 2 inches of the flag. He was 14 feet, 6 inches shy on No. 8.
Other winners were Russ Morris (No. 2; 18 feet, 1/2 inch), Jack Greenshield (No. 14; 11 feet, 5 inches) and Ernst (26 feet, 10 inches).
In the final B flight standings of the tournament, John Calderwood and Ed Quigley carded a 52 to take first place. With a 53, Warren Mulcahy and Bill Shedd were second.
Alex Armenta, the Payson Men’s Golf Association’s newest member, wasted little time proving he will be a links force to reckon with this season.
Competing in just the third tournament of the young season, on March 24 at Payson Golf Course, Armenta carded a 65 to win first place among the A flight entrants.
He also shined in the closest to the pin competition, winning prize money on No. 17 with a tee shot that rolled to within 5 feet, 2 inches of the flag.
Trailing in the flight standings were Gary Campbell and Jesse Smith. Campbell finished at 67 and was second. Smith also tallied a 67 but was third on a scorecard playoff.
Dick Harding claimed B flight laurels with a 67, outdueling Ed Flores and Ralph Lindo. Flores posted a 68, and Lindo a 71.
In C flight, Jim Livingston’s 57 was far and away the best card for the day.
A 66 from Don Gyde was good enough for second. With a 68, Ross Robertson was third.
Closest to the pin winners other than Armenta were Larry Smith (No. 2; 9 feet, 8 inches), Popeye Clay (No.5; 3 feet, 1 inch and No. 14; 10 feet, 10 inches), and Jesse Smith (No. 8; 2 feet, 6 inches).
The PMGA members played the tournament without longtime member and club spokesperson Herb Sherman who was sidelined by eye surgery.
PMGA members return to the links tomorrow, April 7, for a flight tournament at PGC.
On April 21, the association will host Verde Santa Fe in a low net interclub shootout.