High-school golfers from all over the West Central District gathered at Gold Mountain golf course to compete on Tuesday.
For every golfer present, more than just a good score was at stake. Each golfer’s placing would determine whether they would go to state, or whether their season would end.
The West Central District is made up of the Olympic League and the South Puget Sound League, as well as the much smaller Seamount League.
For girls, the 2A district sends 21 golfers to state and sends 24 for boys. The majority of those positions had already been allocated to golfers through league tournaments, however.
So 25 boys competed for eight spots and 21 girls competed for six at Gold Mountain on Tuesday.
Bremerton High School junior Drake Baker was one of those golfers.
His path to the district tournament involved a playoff in the league tournament — not only that, the playoff was against his own brother.
Baker and his brother, Derrick — who also plays for Bremerton as a senior — tied during the league tournament. Derrick won that playoff, forcing his brother to the district tournament.
Despite losing the civil war-esque playoff, Baker said he’ll be cheering his brother all the way at state.
“There’s definitely no bad blood between us,” he said.
In the past, Baker has shot a 79 at Gold Mountain but he couldn’t replicate that success Tuesday.
Baker once again missed a spot at the tournament by the narrowest of margins. He shot an 88 at Gold Mountain — just three strokes short of qualifying for state.
Baker said he was putting himself in a good position all day, but wasn’t putting the ball where it needed to be on his second shot.
“I was crushing the ball off the tee box,” he said. “(but) I think that my approach shots needed to get on in regulation more.”
Baker will be back next year, he said, and then it will be his brother cheering him on at state.
The state tournament will take place Tuesday, May 21, at Chambers Bay Golf Course in University Place.