SILVER SPRING, MD — The final day of the 2nd Annual Denny McCarthy Junior Invitational, proved to be an exciting event at Argyle Country Club—all the way down to Boys Overall Defending Champion 17-year-old, Lou Baker’s (Timonium, Md.) last putt—dropping a four-foot birdie to solidify his back-to-back win. Baker finished 1-over-par (71-72-143) to win the tournament.
Baker was in the last group of the day and knew he had to make the putt to prevent a playoff against runner-up, 14-year-old, Matthew Monastero (Leesburg, Va.) who was tied for fourth (3-over-par) coming into the final day. Monastero carded a final round 1-under-par (74-70-144).
“Standing over the ball with the gallery at my back—I was nervous and my hands were shaking—but I knew I had to make the putt,” Baker said. “I had a similar putt on Hole. No 17 where I ran my birdie putt by the hole and had to putt for par—I wasn’t going to miss it again.”
He said that was the first time he had to make a putt to solidify a win, let alone a back-to-back win. But, where Baker said he made the putt to win the tournament, he didn’t play like that all day. Similar to the day prior he made five bogies against four birdies.
During the first day, Baker was the only competitor to card even-par (71), making four birdies against four bogies. But his lead was still marginal coming into the last day as he led the majority of the field by no more than three strokes.
According to Baker, he had gotten behind early the final day as he made three bogies against two birdies on the Front Nine. The streak continued throughout the Back Nine with a bogey as a result of a lost ball on Hole No. 10 and bogey on Par 5, Hole No. 12.
Baker said he came into the day playing aggressive, trying to go for all of the Par 5s.
This was indicative of his final round match-up against17-year-old, Austin Barbin from Elkton, Md., and 13-year-old, Bryan Kim from Brookeville, Md., who trailed Baker by two strokes coming into the final day.
Baker said, he grew up playing with Barbin, who was a childhood friend and he knew Barbin wasn’t going to make it easy on him. On top of that Kim proved to be unrelenting with his short-game. Barbin placed third carding 3-over-par (73-72-145) and Kim tied for fourth (73-74-147).
At the end of the day as the light began to fade from the sky and the air grew chilly, it was Baker who posed next to 2018 Web.com Tour Champion Denny McCarthy with the invitational trophy.
Baker showed gratitude towards the McCarthy family saying what outstanding work they do helping to grow junior golf.
The invitational is the namesake tournament of 2018 Web.com Tour Champion and MAPGA Junior Tour Alumnus, Denny McCarthy (Takoma Park, Maryland).
The field consists of the Top 60 Boys and Girls from Maryland and Virginia:
Top 10 Boys Class of 2019 — Top 5 Girls Class of 2019
Top 10 Boys Class of 2020 — Top 5 Girls Class of 2020
Top 10 Boys Class of 2021 — Top 5 Girls Class of 2021