Taylor Baker wins big and advances to golf Masters

Baker dominates field with two personal bests and is Rio’s Athlete of the Month for October


Jack Fedota, Staff Writer

Taylor Baker, a sophomore girls golf player, has quickly emerged as one of the best prep golfers in the state. Baker shot a staggering 65, or seven under par, in her league tournament advancing her to the divisional championships. She then shot a 69, or three under par, finishing first out of 102 golfers. Now she is advancing to the Masters tournament being held at Micke Grove Golf Course.

Baker’s accomplishments also have earned her the distinction as the Rio Americano Athlete of the Month for October.

Baker modestly said the award was “really cool,” but she got more excited talking about her championship play.

“Both of these rounds have been personal records for me at any course I’ve played,” Baker proudly said while talking about her recent playoff rounds.

Baker also explained the excitement she had to continue playing and showed more confidence than nerves. Baker is an incredible golfer, but also has incredible qualities that she contributes to help out her team.

Steve Kronick, head coach of the girls golf team at Rio, has seen her leadership up close. Kronick has high praise for Taylor and said, “​​Taylor is an exceptional player and person. Her dedication and discipline towards golf are to be admired.”

Baker is not just an ordinary high school athlete who slips through unnoticed, she certainly will be getting lots of attention from college programs, yet according to Kronick, she still sees herself on the same level as everyone else. Kronick said, “She approaches the game with a maturity beyond her years. Whether at practice or on the course, she is respectful and helpful at all times to her teammates and opponents, regardless of their level of play. Taylor is simply a delight to have on our team.”

Baker’s success clearly comes from her ability, but also her humble attitude and approach to the game. Baker has been earning the respect of coaches of opponents as well.

Kronick said, “Opposing coaches not only appreciate her skill level but also have remarked how courteous and helpful she is.”

Baker truly is a special athlete here at Rio, and is well deserving of the first athlete of the month.