Golf

Sean Packer, a newlywed and new father, has one old habit: contending at Tacoma City Am

A lot has changed in Sean Packer’s life since last year’s Tacoma City Amateur golf tournament.

He got married in October. He moved near Wenatchee for eight months with his new wife. And last month, the couple welcomed their first child — son, Brady.

But one thing never seems to change: Packer contending at the city championship he has won three times.

The 31-year-old from Bonney Lake will take a narrow lead over Enumclaw’s Tyler Salsbury into the final round of the 86th Tacoma City Amateur at Fircrest Golf Club on Sunday.

Packer shot his second consecutive 2-under-par 70 on Saturday at RMG Club’s The Classic in Spanaway. His 4-under 136 total is one stroke better than Salsbury (74), and three strokes better than Tacoma’s Michael Almonte (74).

Defending champion Casey Adams shot a 73, and trails Packer by four shots.

With all of the changes he has seen in his personal life, Packer has not played a whole lot of competitive golf this year.

“I have changed a lot more diapers than repaired ball marks, that’s for sure,” Packer said.

But he said he wasn’t going to miss this tournament, no matter where he lived — especially since two of his Tacoma City Amateur crowns have been won at Fircrest.

Packer made five birdies Saturday at The Classic, with a 12-foot putt for one at the ninth hole sparking a rally after he started 2 over through the first seven holes.

“That putt was trying to miss on the low side,” Packer said. “It caught the edge, rattled around and fell in.”

On the back nine, Packer birdied the 13th, 16th and 18th holes.

“I have excellent vibes at Fircrest,” Packer said. “It’s just a great golf course.”

Salsbury, the overnight leader after an opening 67 at Capitol City on Friday, said he struggled with his wedge game. He made three bogeys and one birdie Saturday.

“It’s always fun to start the day chasing down a leader,” Salsbury said. “It makes you play good, aggressive golf.”

Almonte was 1 under on his second round Saturday, but finished with a double bogey on No. 17 and a bogey at the finishing hole. He will be in the final group that tees off at 11:30 a.m. Sunday.

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