Tyler Apps pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the prep golf season whipping two-three-time defending region and state champion Kyle Jones in the North/East championship tournament.
On May 9 at White Mountain Country Club, Apps posted a meet low card of 73 to best Jones who finished at 75.
Jones, a senior at SHS, is bound for Baylor University on a golf scholarship.
Apps’ head-turning performance drew praise from coach Bret Morse, “Obviously (it was) a tremendous round by Tyler at one over par in those winds.”
The Horns also received a strong showing from Jeffrey Kelley who posted a 78 and was fourth overall.
“Jeffrey played the front nine at even par,” said Morse.
Cody Bossert finished at 84 and was eighth in the individual standings.
“It was his first time ever seeing this course,” said Morse.
Also for Payson, Anthony Smith scored a 109.
The team total 323 earned Payson tournament runner-up honors behind champion Snowflake, who edged the Horns by four strokes.
“Our team played well overall, especially with the winds blowing 40 miles per hour,” said Morse.
While the regional tournament was a highlight on the Longhorn golf schedule, it was a May 3 performance at Pinetop Lakes that actually earned the PHS team a berth into the Division III or “state” finals.
To earn a state seed, prep teams were required to card five qualifying scores during the regular season.
Payson traveled to Pinetop Lakes owning four qualifying scores.
On the par 31 course and in a “play five (golfers) keep four (scores)” format, the Horns finished with a state-qualifying 142.
Apps led the Horn parade with an even par 31. Kelley finished at 35, Cody Bossert had a 36 and Smith rounded out the scoring with a 40.
The Longhorns are now one of 12 Division III teams from around Arizona to earn a state seed and will begin pursuit of a state title today, May 13, at Antelope Hills Golf Course near Prescott.
The tournament wraps up tomorrow with the crowning of the 2011 individual and state champions.
Today’s round will be played on Antelope Hill’s South Course, which was added to the facility in 1992 and is said to be a wide-open track with large grounds and plenty of mounding.
Tomorrow’s round will be played on the North Course, which opened in 1958 and is a traditional tree lined course with small greens that require more accuracy than power.
The state field includes several parochial and smaller private schools that in past years were members of the “small school” 1A and 2A ranks.
They are Desert Christian, Gilbert Christian, Yuma Catholic, Valley Christian, Scottsdale Christian, Pusch Ridge Christian and Phoenix Country Day.
In addition to 12 teams competing, the field also includes 20 individual qualifiers.
On the junior varsity level at Pinetop Lakes, Tyler Croy finished at 43, Tod McCarthy had a 43 and Katie Schouten posted a 45.