Date: September 19, 2010

Baker goes back to back

Mount Gambier Golf Club junior member Cory Baker has successfully defended his State Country Junior Champion title he won in 2009 when he claimed the 2010 title at the Waikerie Golf Club on September the 18th – 19th.

The 54 hole stroke event drew competitors from all over country South Australia for the individual and country groups teams titles.

Baker led the field for the entire event eventually recording a one shot victory over fellow Mount Gambier member Will Somerfield.

With many of the field struggling to score well Baker got away to a great start recording the only under par round for the event when he carded a one under 71 off the stick that included  a 33 on the back nine.

He was followed by Somerfield with a 74 whose highlight was a 34 on the front nine. The two Mount boys continued to dominate in the second round when they posted the equal highest score of that round with a 78 each in very trying windy conditions.

With 36 holes completed they found themselves in the last group of the seeded draw for the Sunday round well clear of the rest of the field.

The final round started with Baker holding a three shot lead with both players trading birdies early in the round to see Somerfield end the nine on 38 and Baker 39. Both players continued to play tight golf with their long driving off the tee a feature well into the back and final nine.

It was on the 15th where Somerfield chipped in for birdie that he made his charge for the title. The next hole saw Baker feeling the pressure after a stray tee shot and recording a double bogey to be followed by Somerfield making a miraculous up and down on the 17th setting up a classic finish on the last hole when they tee'd off all square in the event.

With both players finding the fairway of the par 5 closing hole it was Baker who played first landing his second shot short and right in the long grass 30 metres from the green.

Somerfield followed with his second landing 20 metres short dead in front of the green. With his ball nestling in the long grass Baker played probably his finest shot of the event when landed his ball up onto the difficult raised green to see it end up a foot from the hole for three shots.

The pressure now returned to Somerfield whose chip failed to make the green and he needed two putts to record a par carding a 74.  Baker calmly putted his ball into the hole to successfully defend his title with a 76.

The crowd around the green had seen a great contest right to the end and witnessed what the two Mount juniors have now been doing for years with and against each other.

Continuing on the success for the South East Golf Association juniors Baker and Somerfield were joined by another  Mount Gambier and Blue Lake junior in Ben Snell and Robes Ben Tucker to easily take out the Country Group Team Event from the Murraylands.

This win was the fifth title  in six years for the SEGA highlighting the strength of junior golf in the region. Both Snell and Tucker performed admirably in the 54 hole event also when they tied for 5th place overall. With the top six players from the event earning selection in the SA State team to play against Victoria In November it was a proud South East moment when their whole team earn't selection.

Kingstons Jason Holloway and Mount Gambiers Tom Miller also put in some credible performances at various stages in their first championship event.

<image="1" align="right" />

South East players Ben Tucker, Ben Snell, Cory Baker and Will Somerfield