Times Sports Editor
The Rend Lake Warriors mens' golf team has sent three members to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) DII National Golf Championships that got underway this week.
Former Northview High School standout, Kade Baker, joined teammates, Matt Walton and Zach Holland in the tourney being held at Goose Pond Colony Golf Course in Scottsboro, Ala.
The Warriors, ranked 20th in the nation on the latest NJCAA poll, failed to qualify as a team for the national tournament after two teams dropped out of a Region XXIV Tournament where RLC was the runner up. Only one team advanced from Region XXIV because of NJCAA rules regarding the number of teams competing, however Walton, Holland and Baker all advanced after carding All-Region Team scores.
The course at Goose Pond Colony is a par 72 at 7,100 yards. There are 19 teams and 127 players registered to compete.
Walton led the Warriors after round one's action as he posted a 1-over-par, 73, which tied him for seventh. Baker was tied for 56th with a 5-over-par, 77. Holland shot an 85 and was tied for 117th individually.
In the second round, Baker moved up the leaderboard by following up his first round tally with another 77 for a two-day score of 10-over-par, 154.
College of Southern Maryland Hawks golfer, Kyle Carranza, was 1-under-par after the first round and holds the second round lead with a 145, which is 1-over-par overall.
Baker qualified for the NJCAA National Tournament after his performance at the regional held at Stonewolf Golf Course held in rainy, windy conditions on May 1-2.
Baker opened the three round regional by shooting a 76 and then followed that on day two by carding an 83 in the first 18 holes of the day. He qualified for the national tourney with a final round 78. His score of 237 tied him for eighth overall in the tourney and solidified Baker a spot on the All-Region Team.
Play continues today with the third round of the DII National Golf Championship.