McDERMOTT — South Webster’s Gavin Baker didn’t only go low at Monday’s Division III Southeast District golf tournament — the Jeep junior went super low.
Firing a three-over (75) round at The Elks Country Club, Baker claimed second-place among all individuals — shooting a 35 on the front-nine and a 40 on the back.
However, per the stipulations for teams and individuals seeking to qualify for the Division III state golf tournament, only the top qualifying team and top individual from a non-qualifying team from the Southeast District are eligible to advance.
The boys golf state tournament takes places at Ohio State University’s NorthStar Golf Club in Sunbury.
Baker’s 75 was second to only Manchester junior Daulton McDonald, whose two-over (74) round secured the individual qualifying spot at the Division III state tournament.
For Baker, his three-over round was a career-best — at The Elks or any course — and is a goal he’s worked to achieve since the start of the season back in early August.
“I’ve been putting in work all summer long toward this goal,” Baker said. “I’ve had a lot of help from people at Little Scioto, working with me, my dad, and my coach. (Monday) I just tried to have a good time and put together a good round.”
South Webster competed among Southern Ohio Conference Division I teams during September’s SOC championships held at The Elks.
As a member at Scioto County’s lone 18-hole course and having played there just weeks prior, Baker said his familiarity with the course was no doubt a factor in his career day.
“I have a membership there, so I’m used to playing out there,” Baker said. “I try to put in time knowing that’s where our district and conference match is at the end of the year.”
Baker, being a junior, has just one more year to compete at the high school level.
Heading into golf’s offseason, Baker says he’s bound and determined to use his three-over round at districts as a motivating factor in taking his game one more notch up — or down.
“I’ve known I can play this well, but I’ve never done it in a match — especially in a tournament atmosphere,” Baker said. “It opens doors for me to work harder, try to improve my game a whole lot more and see if I can pick up where I left off next year.”
Baker’s teammate, South Webster junior Cam Carpenter, shot a 32-over (104) to finish in 52nd-place among competitors in Division III.
Valley sophomore Austin Bloomfield shot a 26-over (98) during his round at Monday’s district tournament, firing a 49 on both the front and back-nines at The Elks.
West Union earned its place as the low team at the Southeast District tournament, narrowly edging Crooksville with its team score of 328.
Dragons junior Dakota Pell, a competitor alongside brother Derrick in the 2020 Tri-State Junior Golf Tour, finished as the low Dragon with a score of four-over (76).
Dragons senior Clayton Jones fired a 10-over (82) round, while Derrick Pell shot a 14-over (86) — just behind Jonathan McDowell’s 12-over (84).
A full list of results from the Division III Southeast District boys golf tournament can be found by visiting https://www.baumspage.com/golf/dist/3/boys/se/elks/2020/.
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