- Last Updated on 12:22 PM 04/23/12
- BY Doug Ford
The late Sturgis Payne would probably feel honored and humble to see a tournament played in his honor and memory last weekend at Halifax Country Club, the annual HCC Memorial Tournament. Payne would also probably be satisfied with the eventual winner, Randy Cage, as well as with the large number of golfers who came out to play golf on a sweltering day where the temperature reached 100 degrees.
Cage finished as the low net winner for the tournament among almost 70 golfers, followed by Leon Plaster and Roy Bradley, while Charlie Baskervill was low gross winner.
Second- and third-place low net winners were decided by a match of cards, as was the low gross winner.
Sturgis was described by many at the post-tournament gathering as a “bonafide character,” and someone who was known for his quick wit.
“He loved life and was excited to come here and play each time he came,” said tournament chairman Sam Fisher.
“Sturgis was known for his sayings, like ‘you can’t stop a mudslide.’”
Nephew Charlie Payne recalled two more sayings, including “cream always comes to the top,” and “gambling money has no home.”
“He probably played holes three, four and five more times than any other golfer who ever played here,” recalled Fisher.
Sturgis Payne would always golf in the late afternoon and make his rounds of those three holes, Fisher continued.
“In his day, he was probably one of the top five golfers at the Country Club,” added Fisher while lauding the large turnout.
“We had a great turnout, more signed up for this particular tourney than any I can remember, and we had some excellent play.”
Low net winner Cage said he knew Sturgis Payne really well and agreed with the general assessment of the honoree as a “character.”
“He always had something to say that stuck with you, “the big possum walks late” is one of them, that’s one saying I’ll never forget,” recalled Cage.
“You have to appreciate the older generation. The older I get the more you appreciate the older generation and he was quite a character.
“It’s very, very special to win this particular tourney in honor of him, and I almost got teary-eyed, because I know Billy and Charlie too.
“All of them are genuine people and really unique.”