Louie Crabtree might be the best Payson Men’s Golf Association golfer no one has ever heard of.
That’s because, the Payson High School teacher took up the sport late in life and played only sparingly due to job demands.
Simply put, he never was regarded as a threat to win the Q-School.
But in the PMGA’s Club Champion Tournament that teed off July 10, Crabtree has surprisingly played his way to the third and final round.
He reached the finale on July 17 by defeating Popeye Clay (3/1) in the D flight semifinals.
In the first round, Crabtree upset John Calderwood (2 up).
When Crabtree was asked what fueled the improvement in his golf game, he answered with a question saying, “What improvement?”
With PUSD classes set to begin soon, Crabtree will return to his teaching duties and no longer be a weekly competitor on the PMGA circuit.
In the other D Flight semifinal on July 17, Gary Rovetto rolled past Dan Zertuche (3/2).
In A flight, former Payson High golf standout Jeff Kelly defeated Oscar Garcia (6/5) and in a battle of the Smiths, Jessie Smith defeated Larry Smith (7/6).
In B flight, Stan Eggen emerged victorious over Alex Armenta (3/2) and Lou Manganiello edged Jack Proietto (1 up).
Mike Eilenfleldt defeated Dick Harding (3/2) and Ed Bossert nipped Gary Campbell (1-up; 19 holes) in the C flight semifinals.
In the Red flight, Ralph Lindo squeaked past Steve Vincent (2/1) and Jim Dalgleish whipped Bill Mullins (4/3).
The final round of the match play tournament will be contested tomorrow, July 24, at Payson Golf Course.
Low net shoot-out
Also on July 17 at PGC, PMGA members locked horns in a low net formatted tournament.
With a 67, Mike Anderson walked about with first place and the top prize money.
Tim Ernst posted a 70 and was second.
Ken Althoff and Mike McKee carded identical scores of 71 but Althoff finished second and McKee fell to third on a scorecard playoff.
With a 72, Russ Morris was fifth.
Closest to the pin prize winners included Althoff (No. 2; 11 feet, 3 inches), Larry Smith (No. 5; 6 feet, 9 inches), Doug Talbot (No. 17; 5 feet, 1-1/2 inches) and Ernst (No. 8; 14 feet, 7-1/2 inches and No. 14; 2 feet, 5 inches).