By CAREY FOX
This summer has been a busy one for Northview sophomore golfer Kade Baker. But then again, it's nothing new for the standout who has been a fixture in area golf tournaments as well as the Pepsi Indiana Junior Golf Program.
The only thing that has been able to slow him down this year was a bout with mono that kept him from competing in the full slate of Pepsi Tournament events.
When healthy however, Baker's name has been a familiar one atop leaderboards across the state.
In a tourney at Swan Lake Resort in Plymouth, In. on July 6-7, Baker shot a two-day score of 150 to tie for the regulation lead with Marion golfer, Tyler Keith in the Boys 15 year old division. With rounds of 75 and 75, Baker finished at six-over and then headed to extra holes. The two golfers each birdied the first playoff hole and parred the second before Keith prevailed with a birdie in the third hole.
However, a second place finish against more than 40 competitors from across the state sent a message that Baker was more than up to the task of competing against the best.
Returning home, Baker competed in the Optimist Tournament at Forest Park Golf Course, the Northview Knights home course, and picked up a two stroke victory in the Boys 14-15 division, carding a 73. The round was the third best of all competitors, coming just one stroke off Plainfield High School standout, Zac Treash and Bloomington's Ben EuDaly.
Just two days later, Baker returned to tournament action with a date at the Mountain Dew Junior Tour stop at Cascades Golf Course in Bloomington. There, he shot a round of 77 to tie for fifth place in the Boys 15-16 division. The winner, Ben Krempp of Jasper, shot a 75 along with two other golfers, to win the event.
Baker then returned back to Rae Park where he shot a 72 to finish second in a rain-shortened tourney where the victor carded a 71.
The Pepsi Indiana Junior Golf Program has a history of playing host to developing Northview golfers with participants including a distinguished list of current and past Knights. But with such standout summer play coming from Baker, classmate Austin Akers and Josh Conway, it's obvious the Northview program is in good shape once again.