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Mike Sposa

Sport: Golf

Born: June 5, 1969

Town: Teaneck

Michael Sposa was born June 5, 1969 in Teaneck. When Mike was a boy, the Sposas moved to Broward County, Florida, to a house at the Inverrary Country Club, which hosted the Jackie Gleason Classic. When Mike was six, he got hooked on golf during a tournament there. TV personality Dennis James—a cousin—was paired with Tom Weiskopf in a pro-am at the course and Mike was allowed to tag along inside the ropes.

Mike played in junior tournaments in Florida and in the Poconos, where the family took their family vacations and his game steadily developed. He enrolled at JP Taravella High School in Coral Springs in 1983 and joined a strong varsity golf team. In 1986, Mike became the talk of the Florida golf world, winning the state junior title and leading the school to a second-place tie in the state championships. The 1986 Taravella team graduated four seniors, making Mike the leader of the 1987 Trojans. He enjoyed another great year and earned a scholarship to the University of Tennessee, the last of four schools he visited.

As a freshman, Mike was a member of Mike Mularkey’s 1988 team, which came up just short of the SEC championship. By his junior year, Mike was ranked among the top golfers in the SEC and was named an All-American in 1990. That year, he and his teammates captured the conference championship for just the second time in school history, upsetting defending champion Florida in a one-hole playoff. Mike rolled in a 10-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th hole on the third and final day for a 69 to edge Jeff Barlow for the SEC individual title. Mike repeated as an All-American in 1991 and was a member of the winning Walker Cup team that September before turning pro. Phil Mickelson and David Duval were among his teammates at the event in Ireland.

The transition from NCAA golfer to touring pro was not a smooth one for Mike. He began on the second-tier Nike Tour and his best finish was a 1995 playoff loss at the Knoxville Open at the Fox Run Country Club, familiar ground from his college days. Mike spent 1997 on the PGA Tour but was bumped back down to the Nike circuit in 1998. He won his one and only pro title that fall in Boise, beating Notah Begay and Dennis Paulson by two strokes.

The Boise Open win earned Mike a return trip to the PGA Tour, where he held his own over the next five years. His best finish during that time was a fourth-place finish at the 2002 Compaq Classic in New Orleans. Mike played one more year on the PGA Tour, in 2006, when he made 10 cuts in 25 tournaments.

In 2008, Mike went to work for Fujikura as a PGA Tour rep. In 2012, he moved over to Callaway in South Carolina, where he was made manager of the company’s tour manager for junior, collegiate and developmental golf.


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