Fourteen-year-old Baxter Droop fired his best round of golf to date - a one-over-par 73 on the Cobram Barooga Old Course last Friday in the Under 21, 54-hole Stuart Appleby Murray River Junior Masters last week.
After rounds of 79 and 83 at Tocumwal, Baxter finished 4th nett in his age group, 6th overall off the stick in his age group and 20th overall in the field of 70 players mainly throughout Victoria.
In that fast finishing round at Cobram Barooga, he recovered from being three over after two holes. At that stage, Baxter “just wanted to get a par on the board”. Better than that, he got a birdie, only to follow up with another bogey.
But from then on it was brilliant golf with two-under for the remaining 13 holes, in a round comprising three birdies and 12 pars.
Jasper Stubbs, 15, from Huntingdale, won the prestigious junior event with an overall score of five-under-par. Caleb Bovalina, in his high teens from Cobram Barooga, who has played a lot of junior and senior golf at Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort, came third.
“It was good, very well run,” Baxter said of the Stuart Appleby Murray River Junior Masters. “The courses were in superb condition, and the greens hard and quick which was nice.”
Got a good coach Baxter? “Yes, a couple – Dad (head club pro, Evan) and Frazer (recently turned 21-year-old brother who played in this year’s Australian Open). Frazer gives me a bit of help - gives me a couple of tips.”
Two other local juniors Ben Casley and Oliver Ridley also played in the Stuart Appleby Murray River Junior Masters and had some good rounds.
While they finished behind Baxter, Ben and Oliver gained a ton of experience competing in the event.
Before Baxter’s barn storming finish last Friday, his handicap was seven. It might be lower now for the student who will be in Year 9 at Sacred Heart College Yarrawonga in 2018.