Senior Russel Sprecher joins Northern Michigan University teammates in qualifying for various state amateur golf meets | News, sports, jobs

Northern Michigan University senior golfer Russel Sprecher watches his shot during a Wildcats 2023-2024 season meet. (Photo courtesy of NMU)

MARQUETTE — Following the success of a couple of his teammates, Northern Michigan University men’s golfer Russel Sprecher has also qualified for his state’s upcoming amateur championships.

In the second half of June, sophomore Brady Badker qualified for the 2023-2024 Wisconsin Amateur Championship, while freshman Arthur Ylitalo made it to the Minnesota Golf Association Amateur Championship.

Sprecher, who was listed as a senior on NMU’s golf roster for the 2023-2024 season, will play in the Golf Association of Michigan Amateur Championship in early August.

He shot an even-par round of 72 to tie for second at a qualifying tournament held Friday at Michaywe Pines in downstate Gaylord.

Interestingly, Sprecher’s hometown listed on the NMU roster is Capser, Wyoming, and his hometown on the standings page is also listed as Casper, but likely because of his ties to NMU, he is eligible to play in Michigan’s amateur events.

He advances to play in the GAM Championship to be held Aug. 5-6 at Barton Hills Country Club in Ann Arbor.

The top eight golfers in Gaylord plus two alternates advanced to the state tournament, requiring a score of 3-over 75 to earn both eighth place and the two alternate spots.

Winner of the event was John Carras from Naples, Florida, who shot a 2-under 70. Tying Sprecher with a 72 was Jeffrey Sager of Alma in the field of 47 golfers at Gaylord.

Sprecher, who shot 1-under 35 on the front nine and 1-over 37 on the back, made four birdies and four bogeys to go with 10 pars, with three of his birdies on par-5 holes.

He was 2-under after six holes, birdieing the 540-yard, par-5 second and 336-yard, par-4 sixth, but returned those strokes with bogeys on the 402-yard, par-4 eighth and 388-yard, par -4 10th.

He had an eventful final five holes, paring just one of them. He birdied the 557-yard, par-5 14th; bogeyed the 190-yard, par-3 16th; birdied 534-yard, par-5 17th; and bogeyed the 350-yard, par-4 18th.

Most notably, he was one of only three golfers to birdie No. 6. He was also one of only eight golfers to birdie No. 2, one of eight to birdie No. 14, and one of seven to birdie No. 17.

Ylitalo, who qualified for the Minnesota tournament on June 17, is playing in his state amateur championship in Bloomington Monday through Wednesday, while Badker, who actually lives in Menominee, qualified for the Wisconsin event on June 29 and is playing in his state amateur event in Waukesha from Monday through next Thursday.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is [email protected].

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