Cloquet’s Sam Baker earned a spot in the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship by finishing fifth in the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship Qualifier Wednesday at Pioneer Creek Golf Course in Maple Plain, Minnesota.
Nate Stevens of Northfield, Minnesota, earned medalist honors by carding a 35-30—65, good for 7-under par.
Mason Roloff (Blaine, Minnesota), Parker Sands (Edmond, Oklahoma) and Braeden Sladek (Alexandria, Minnesota) all tied for second with 67s while Baker was another shot back with a 68.
Baker apparently has a knack for coming up big when it matters most. He carded a birdie on the final hole to capture the Minnesota Class AA boys golf title two weeks ago and did the same thing Wednesday.
“It went pretty well,” Baker said. “I was really just cruising along and was at 5-under after 12 holes then I came to 13 and made a double (bogey). So now I was at 3-under with a couple to play and I knew I needed to make at least one if not more (birdies) to make it. I ended up making a birdie on the par-5 Hole No. 18 to finish it up.”
The U.S. Junior Amateur Championship is July 19-24 at the Country Club of North Carolina in Pinehurst.
“It’s a pretty big deal to qualify for this one,” Baker said. “I’m pretty happy right now, being able to play at the highest junior golf tournament in a couple weeks.”