Had Brownstown’s Chris Baker had his preference, he would not have been at Wolf Run Golf Club competing in the 108th Indiana Amateur Championship. The recent Iowa State graduate, All-American Honorable Mention and 2008 Iowa State Male Athlete of the Year, missed an opportunity last week to qualify for the Nationwide Tour’s Knoxville Open presented by Food City.
Had he been successful in his qualifying attempt, his amateur career would have ended with his recent IGA Public Links Championship win. The other 155 competitors in the field would have been happy had that been the case.
Baker took full advantage of his additional opportunity to compete as an amateur and finished as the only player under par to capture the 2008 Indiana Amateur Championship in convincing fashion. He finished the tournament at two-under-par 282 after a final round score of even-par 71 to finish as the lone player to complete 72 grueling holes on the treacherous Wolf Run G.C. layout under par.
The next best finisher was runner-up Joe Mahurin of Noblesville with a 289.
“Runner-up was better than I expected. My goals for the tournament were to keep the ball in play, have no three-putts and make no big numbers,” said Mahurin.
He succeeded in avoiding three putts all four days despite the difficult and undulating greens and agreed it was an impressive feat that Baker finished the tournament under par.
“Chris is a fabulous ball striker and the whole package. It was a phenomenal job for him to finish under par,” he said.
“You need to always feel like you can do something special. I hit the ball great, and I was pleased with how I played,” said Baker, who lead the field in most birdies made with 19.
Now he looks to the PGA Indiana Open Championship July 7-10 at Prairie View Golf Course in Carmel, where he plans to tee it up for the first time as a professional.
“It has been a great stretch finishing college on such a high note, winning the IGA Public Links and now this. It’s been a lot of fun, and I’m looking forward to the future – it has a lot to hold,” he said.
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