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GOLF

Sprague runner up at Spanos Park in AM Tour opener

By: Staff Report
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STOCKTON _ Lincoln golfer Pasquale “Pete” Sprague overcame wind and cold on Reserve at Spanos Park to take second Jan. 27 for his first outing on the AM Tour this season.

The cold temperatures plaguing California were also present at Reserve, along with a strong wind. Sprague started well picking up a birdie on the first hole, a 327-yard par four.

However, the difficult conditions and Reserve’s near 6,900 total yards took its toll. Sprague bogeyed five of his next 12 holes but it would be the double-bogey at 18 that would do him in.

“The wind on average was 30 mph that day,” Sprague reported, describing his play on 18. “I hit a great drive that the wind just kept pushing right and long.”

About 320 yards out, Sprague’s ball ended up in the lake that lines the 18th fairway.

Michael Gelber, the eventual champion, stepped on the tee one stroke behind Sprague after coming off a bogey at 17. Gelber, a 52-year-old from El Dorado Hills, managed to par the 399-yard par four and claim victory.

Sprague’s six on the final hole gave him a total 78, just one shot behind Gelber.

John Gray, the leader after nine holes, triple-bogeyed 18 to finish with a 79 in third place.

Sprague credits his family for keeping him focused. He acknowledges the grind of practice and time away from home are difficult but they all share his dream.

“Dreams are goals with due dates,” Sprague wrote. “I want to thank my family for their support and belief in the dream I am chasing.”

Sprague’s next tournament is the Yocha Dehe Championship at Cache Creek Golf Club Feb 24. Last year, Sprague shot a 76 in the SAC-Tour Championship held at Yocha DeHe for fifth place. Rocklin’s Eric Morgan fired an even-par 72 for the win.

Sprague’s second-place finish put him in third place for the SAC-Tour Order of Merit.

Sprague made it into the AM Tour National Championship in Florida last year. He plans to again qualify for the national tournament to be held in Palm Springs this year.

Follow Sprague in the News Messenger as he works his way up the golfing ladder of success.