Raymond H. Goettsch
SaddleBrooke Pickleball Association member Mike Owens, age 63, participated in the Pro Pickleball Association Championship tournament in Las Vegas from Oct. 21 to 24. Mike and his partner, Keith Sturdivant, age 63, of SaddleBrooke Ranch, played in the 5.0 men’s doubles section. Due to the number of participants, the 60+ players and the 50+ players competed in a round-robin format. Mike won gold in the 60+ class.
Mike also participated in the 5.0 mixed doubles section with Kris Kaskawal. Due to the number of participants, the 60+ players and the 35+ and older players competed in a round-robin format. His partner won gold in the 50+ class. Mike reported that competing against 35+ players was quite a challenge.
Not surprisingly, Mike is no stranger to winning gold medals in tournaments. In September 2021, he won gold at the Takeya Showcase tournament in Newport Beach, Calif.
According to Mike, he has been a tennis professional since college. Most recently, he was the tennis professional at the Braemar Country Club in Tarzana, Calif. from 2004 to 2017. However, in November 2017, he underwent a right hip replacement. Mike took up pickleball, and he hasn’t played tennis since. He said the size of the tennis court now seems somewhat daunting to him.
At the same time, Mike purchased TGA Tucson, the local franchise of TGA Sports, and he moved to SaddleBrooke. He explained that his business introduces sports to elementary children after school hours and that he currently operates programs for 434 children in 30 local schools.
Mike added that he underwent a left hip replacement in May 2021. However, as noted, he was not only playing pickleball in tournaments within four months, but winning a gold medal as well.