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Espinoza, Sales dazzle down stretch to win Pro-Pro tourney

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

Gerome Espinoza, an assistant professional at Albuquerque Country Club, and Evan Sales, the head pro at Angel Fire Country Club, caught fire with four birdies and an eagle over the final 13 holes to win the Sun Country Section PGA Pro-Pro Team Championship by two strokes at Sandia Golf Club on Tuesday. (Go here for full results)

Espinoza eagled the par-5, 570-yard No. 7, serving as a highlight during the final of two rounds (over two days) that helped the duo hold off Las Campanas’ Brad Lardon (director) and Jordan Gibbs (head golf pro). Sales and Espinoza finished at 12-under 132 (65-67).

The winners split the $3,000 top prize in the first Sun Country pro event of the year since the coronavirus pandemic shut down golf tournaments in March. The Sun Country Section includes golf clubs in New Mexico and El Paso. Gibbs and Lardon split $2,500.

Espinoza and Sales entered Tuesday with a two-shot lead over Gibbs and Lardon, who tied things atop the leaderboard through five holes in the final round.

Sales birdied Nos. 6, 10, and 17. He also had a birdie on No. 1. In addition to the eagle on No. 7, Espinoza collected a birdie on No. 9. They led the best-ball tournament with 13 birdies and one eagle.

“We just went on a roll; thank goodness,” Espinoza said. “We kind of did the same thing (Monday). We were pretty boring and then we got on a roll. This event always has a good field. We have a bunch of good players in our section. Team events you have to play well. There are so many guys that can play well.”

Larry Lopez of Coronado Country Club in El Paso and Devin Miertschin of Lone Star Golf Club in El Paso tied for third with Luis Delgadillo and Dustin Blair of Horizon Golf Club in Horizon City, Texas, at 9 under.

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