A Ryder-style tournament might have turned into one of the most spirited, gung-ho and competitive matches on the Payson Men’s Golf Association summer circuit.
For the PMGA event, organizers attempted to duplicate the original Ryder Cup format, which features match play competitions between players selected from two teams of 12 with winners scoring a point for their team.
While the Ryder Cup pits a team from Europe against one from the United States, the PMGA Ryder was a bit more local — it was “All-Payson.”
Played July 9 at Payson Golf Course, 24 players showed up to be drafted to either the Red or Blue team. Jessie Smith captained the Blue team and Dave Herbert was named captain of the Red squad.
The draft, tournament director Steve Vincent said, “Was just like the old schoolyard days.”
Following the draft, Vincent added, “The captains picked which two players would be matched up against the other team’s choice — just like the Ryder Cup.”
With the teams selected, play got under way with nine holes of two-man best ball play and nine holes of individual match competition.
When the day finally ended, the Blue team emerged victorious outscoring the Red golfers 11.4 to 7.4.
The Blue, Vincent said, “Was led by Frank Szakal and Phil Wagner’s 3.1 point sweep of Rick Korth and Ken Althoff.”
Herbert’s Red team received 2.8 points from the duo of Russ Morris and Steve Vincent.
On Smith’s winning Blue team were Larry Smith, Chip Yeomans, Jim Dalgleish, Mike Anderson , Troy Neal, Bill Shedd, Bob Clay, John Calderwood, co-captain Kevin Kelley, Szakal and Wagner.
Closest-to-the-pin winners included Tim Hughes (No. 2; 18 feet and No. 17; 8 feet), Wagner (No. 5; 1 foot, 3 inches), Shedd (No. 8; 18 feet, 6 inches) and Jesse Smith (No. 14; 2 feet).
Nassau play not in the Bahamas
Just two days prior to the Ryder Cup, PMGA members were playing Nassau — but not in the capital of the Bahamas.
Rather it was Nassau-style golf in which the format is essentially three separate scorings. A tally is kept on the best match play score in the front nine, back nine, and total 18 holes. Nassau is one of golf’s most classic and most popular formats.
In the A flight competition of the PMGA tournament, Bob Judson won the front nine title (29) and total (59). Szakal was first on the back nine. Also in A flight, Larry Smith was second on the front nine (31), Gary Roveto the silver medalist on the back nine (30) and Szakal the runner-up on total score (61).
In B flight, first place finishers were Anderson (front nine; 28), Dave Rutter (back nine; 30) and Ed Kuhns (total; 64).
Second place winners were Ed Kuhns (front nine; 31), Ed West (back nine; 32) and Anderson (total; 65).
In the closest-to-the-pin competitions, Roveto and Lindsey were closest on the day each swatting to within 5 feet, 5 inches of an ace.
Roveto’s win was on No. 14 and Lindsey’s occurred on No. 17.
Others pocketing prize money were Tim Ernst (No. 2; 20 feet), Doug Talbot (No. 5; 6 feet, 10 inches) and Ralph Lindo (No. 8; 18 feet, 6 inches).
On July 13 at PGC, PMGA members met for the first round of the Club Championship tournament that will continue on July 20 and 27.