Pmga Opens With Rare ‘Double Dip’ Closest-To-Pin Win

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Richard Harding is being good naturedly labeled a “double dipper” by his fellow Payson Men’s Golf Association members.

The appellation is because Harding pocketed closest-to-the-pin prize money on two holes during the PMGA’s season opening three-man scramble tournament played March 17 at Payson Golf Course.

Winning on two holes has been a rare accomplishment on the PMGA circuit.

Harding won on No. 2 with a tee shot that left him 23 feet shy of the flag.

On No. 5, he finished 1 foot, 9 inches from the pin.

His streak of good fortune began “during the winter when he had an ace on No. 17,” said fellow PMGA member Herb Sherman.

In the scramble team format, Jerry McGuire celebrated St. Patrick’s Day by leading his team of Jessie Smith, John Calderwood and Don Gyde to a first-place finish with a 131.

Doug Talbot, Steve Holmes, Richard Ceyler and Ken Armenta posted a 134 to take second. With a 136 and in third place, was the foursome of Troy Neal, Ed Flores, Bill Mullins and Jim Lvingston.

Neal also won closest-to-the-pin laurels on No. 17 with a 30-foot effort prompting Sherman to declare, “Coach Neal is off to his usual start.”

Neal is a former Tempe High basketball coach and Sherman coached for years at Scottsdale Coronado.

Closest-to-the-pin honors were also garnered by Tony LeGault, No. 8 3 feet, 7 inches; and Al Lyons, No. 14, 8 feet, 6 inches.

PMGA members return to Payson Golf Course tomorrow, March 24, for a low net, by flight tournament.

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