David Brown won the professional division of the ESPN National Golf Challenge over the weekend in Las Vegas.
The $10,000 first-place check was 10 times bigger than his next-biggest payday. The idea of quitting his day job as an assistant pro at DarkHorse was raised, but only in jest.
"I was making the joke with my boss that I'm putting in my two weeks (notice)," said Brown, who was at the Auburn course Tuesday at 6:30 a.m., as usual, opening the doors and getting things up and running.
Brown's two-round total of 6-under-par 138 at Paiute Golf Resort left him tied atop the leaderboard. He won with a par on the second playoff hole.
"I wasn't nervous until the playoff," he said. "Then, I was definitely thinking about it."
Brown, 26, a lifelong resident of Auburn, put his clubs away for four years after graduating from Placer High School. He's been playing again for three years, mostly on area minitours.
"I was getting frustrated with the game," he said. "It's not something you should be frustrated with. It's something you should have fun doing. I love being outdoors. I appreciate it now."
He's worked at DarkHorse for two years, the past year as an assistant pro. He pursued the PGA credentialing program to stay involved professionally with golf while keeping his playing options open.
"I didn't want to put a deadline on my goals," Brown said.
A trip to the 2013 PGA Tour qualifying tournament is now looking more likely after a big deposit to his bank account.
Girls go low
The area's first rain in more than four months coincided with the start of the postseason in girls high school golf Monday. The best mudders at the divisional level included:
Whitney's Kelsey Ulep (71 at Yolo Fliers); Granite Bay's Paige Lee (74 at Serrano); Pleasant Grove's Sarah Debnekoff (77 at Serrano); Woodland's Sara Scarlett (78 at Yolo); Oakmont's Maddy Gedeon (80 at Empire Ranch); and Highlands' April Chang (82 at Greenhorn Creek).
All move on to next week's Masters.
Check 'em out
Bob Niger (El Dorado Hills) tied for fourth in the first stage of Champions Tour qualifying last week in Murieta and advances to next month's final stage. Don Levin (Elk Grove) missed advancing by a shot.
Kim Welch (Roseville) tied for 50th in the second stage of the LPGA Tour qualifying tournament in Florida and advances to next month's final stage. She advanced through the first stage last month.
Scott Gordon (Fair Oaks), Donnie Baucon (Orangevale) and Kevin Lucas (Folsom) failed to advance past the first stage of the PGA Tour qualifying tournament last week in Nevada.
Sacramento's Cameron Champ, 17, was named to the Rolex Junior All-America first team. Champ, the fifth-ranked American junior boy, lost in a playoff in the AJGA Ping Invitational earlier this month in Oklahoma. Champ, a home-schooled junior, is verbally committed to Texas A&M.
Ryan Sasser and Josh Moon shot a 2-under 70 in Saturday's qualifying round at Mather to squeak into the Sacramento County Men's Regional Four-Ball bracket as the 16th and final seed. On Sunday, Sasser and Moon took down qualifying medalists Andrew and Austin Roberts 2 up to advance to next week's quarterfinals. The Robertses earned the top seed with a qualifying round of 63.