Crown Jesse Smith king of the Payson Men’s Golf Association.
He became ruler July 25 by winning A flight, first-place honors in the three-week Club Championship tournament at Payson Golf Course.
In winning, Smith defeated second-place finisher Terry Lindsey.
In B flight, Frank Szakal was first with a win over runner-up Mike McKee.
Szakal was on fire most of the final day winning closest-to-the-pin honors on two holes.
On No. 8, his tee shot rolled to within 7 feet, 4 inches of the flag and on No. 14 he finished 7 feet away.
Although longtime PMGA member Herb Sherman was caring for his ill wife and didn’t play in the tournament, had he been there, the former Scottsdale Coronado basketball coach would have accused Szakal of “double dipping.”
In C flight of the championship tournament, Gary Vaplon was first and Popeye Clay took second.
Dan Zertuche defeated silver medalist Ralph Lindo for D flight laurels.
In the yellow tee flight, Don Gyde was first with a win over runner-up Ed West.
PMGA members have nicknamed West, “The King,” but refuse to say what’s behind the moniker.
In addition to Sazakal’s twin closest-to-the-pin wins, Russ Morris, Alex Armenta and Ed West pocketed prize money.
Morris was closest on No. 2 (25 feet), Armenta won on No. 5 (5 feet, 2 inches) and West was top gun on No. 17 (3 feet, 6 inches).
The next major tournament on the PMGA circuit is the President’s Cup to be played Aug. 22 and 29 at PGC.