Pmga Season Winds Down

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A foursome of the Payson Men’s Golf Association’s most accomplished members joined forces to take top honors in a four-man team tournament in which the lowest scores of three of the four players on each hole were scored.

After 18 holes of play Oct. 26 at Payson Golf Course, the foursome of Troy Neal, John Calderwood, Gary Rovetto and Ralph Lindo emerged as top gun with a 191.

In addition to Rovetto and Neal sharing in first place prize money, the duo also pocketed cash awards for being closest to the pin winners.

Neal was closest on No. 17, just 4 feet, 1 inch shy of an ace. Rovetto won on No. 2 with a tee shot that came up just 14 feet, 3 inches shy of the flag.

Mike McKee, Larry Smith and Dave Rutter were also prize winners. McKee was closest on No. 5 (13 feet), Smith on No. 8 (13 feet, 5 inches) and Rutter on No. 14 (13 feet, 4 inches).

In the chase for team honors, Ken Althoff, Popeye Clay, Keith Talley and Rutter garnered second place. The four finished at 194. Terry Lindsey, Russ Morris, Bennie Burns, Dick Cyler and Gary Vaplon tied for third at 196.

The tournament marked the second to last event of a PMGA season that began on March 16 at PGC.

Over the course of the season, the association has played 19 tournaments each Wednesday and some on Saturday for those members who weren’t able to participate during midweek.

The PMGA closed the season with two contests Wednesday, Nov. 2. The first was a low net format nine-hole tournament with two flights. The second was a nine-hole horse race.

Top honors for A Flight were won by Mike McKee with a 31; followed by Ron Fischer with 34 in second; and Russ Morris with 35 in third.

Taking first in B Flight was Ed Flores with 31; followed by Bill Shedd in second; and Mike Anderson in third.

Winning closest to the pin in the low net tourney were Oscar Garcia who was 7 feet, 6 inches from the hole on No. 14; and Larry Smith, who was 18 feet from the pin on No. 17.

The nine-hole horse race is a very unique and fun event, said PMGA president Steve Vincent.

He said 14, two-man teams play alternate shots. One player tees off the other and then hits the next shot and this continues until the ball is holed out.

“The crazy and unique part is all 14 teams play the same hole at the same time — 14 balls — 28 players — carts crisscrossing the fairways. There is no golf etiquette. Anyone can yell or say anything while others are hitting or putting,” Vincent explained. After each hole, one or two teams with the highest score are eliminated.

“So, starting with 14 teams, we whittle it down to three teams playing the eighth hole and just two (teams) playing the final hole,” he said.

The winning team of Frank Szakal and Roger Poole, two of the PMGA’s most “experienced” players defeated Gary Vaplon and Mike McKee.

Third place in the horse race event went to the team of Ken Althoff and Jim Livingston.

The members will gather soon for the traditional awards ceremony and dinner.

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