Battling some of the finest prep golf teams in Arizona, including defending state champion Snowflake, the Payson Longhorns played to a fourth-place finish in the Thatcher Invitational.
During the fray contested March 20 at Mt. Graham Golf Course, Payson carded a 346 to finish behind gold medalist Snowflake (307), runner-up Desert Christian (323) and third place Safford (336).
Individually, senior Mason Dacanay led the Horn charge with a 79 that tied him for seventh overall.
Snowflake’s Kyle Jones, a two-time defending state champion, took medalist honors at 68.
Trailing Dacanay on the Payson scorecard were Jeffrey Kelley (85), Alex Korth (91), Cody Bossert (91) and Anthony Smith (98).
In East Region action March 17 at Silver Creek near Show Low, Payson played to fourth in the six-team shoot-out.
The Horns posted 192 points. Snowflake finished at 149 to claim first and Blue Ridge’s 183 was good enough for second. At 185, Winslow was third. For the Horns, Dacanay turned in a team-high 41 and was seventh.
Trailing on the PHS card were Kelley (49), Korth (50) and Bossert (52).
Snowflake swept the top three spots with Jones (33), Parker McDonald (37) and Jordan Henderson (39).
The Horns return to action at 2 p.m. today, March 23, in a nine-hole match at Chaparral Pines.
The match is Payson’s first home clash of the season.
The only other tournament to be held locally will be on April 5 also at Chaparral Pines.