AOTW

PACS sophomore Will Baker won his age group during the Georgia PGA Junior Championship at Chateau Elan.

Prince Avenue Christian School has its next big-time golfer. Seemingly every year, PACS sends a golfer to the college ranks.

It started with current University of Georgia golfer Will Kahlstorf. It didn’t take Kahlstorf long to make an impact for the Wolverines. He won low medalist in Class A Private state championship tournament in his freshman year.

The newest Wolverine golfer to watch has already received comparisons to his predecessor Kahlstorf. No, Will Baker didn’t win the state championship his freshman year. There wasn’t a state championship tournament.

COVID-19 wiped out Baker’s freshman season with PACS’ varsity golf team. The season was halted March 13. That hasn’t tempered the excitement PACS coach Jimmy Phillips has for what Baker could become in the near future as a player. The comparison to Kahlstorf comes not from accomplishments or that fact that they share a name alone, but their styles.

“He’s in that same mold as Kahlstorf,” Phillips said. “They’re very similar. They’re both very consistent players. They have complete games. Will (Baker) has the short game and he can putt. He drives the ball extremely well. He hits it a long way. He’s gifted.”

Baker didn’t get to compete at the high school level this spring, but he’s begun putting together an success-filled summer slate. Baker finished the Georgia PGA Junior Open in second overall and first in his age group. Baker shot 74, 73 and74 in the three-day event. His performance has made Baker this week’s Oconee Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation/Oconee Enterprise Athlete of the Week.

Baker has come a long way in his development in just three years. Baker decided to focus solely on golf when he turned 11-years-old.

His brother, Reid Baker, was one the inspirations. Baker credits the people he’s around for a lot of his ability. His preparation and curiosity for the game has helped Baker develop so quickly.

“My goal to be a Division I golfer has pushed me to practice,” Baker said. “The people that are around me that are better players than me push me. What makes me unique is my drive to get better. No matter the weather or whatever, I’ll always be out there practicing.”

Oconee Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation/Oconee Enterprise Athlete of the Week is chosen by the sports staff of The Oconee Enterprise. You are welcome to email nominations to sportseditor@oconeeenter-prise.com by Monday at 10 a.m. Oconee Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation can be reached at www.oconeept.com.

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