STRATHAM, N.H. - Derek Bayley of Rathdrum accomplished one of his goals and fell short of the other at the U.S. Junior Amateur golf tournament at The Golf Club of New England.
"My first goal was to make the cut, and my second was to win the golf tournament," Bayley said after a 3 and 2 loss to Joo-Young Lee in the first round of match play on Thursday. "I have one more year to do it, so I'll try again next year."
Starting in a field of 156, Bayley, who will be a junior at Lakeland High this fall, tied for 28th after 36 holes of stroke play to qualify for the match play round of 64.
Bayley was seeded 30th for his match vs. the 35th-seeded Lee, and he started off slowly. He fell behind 3 down after four holes, then won 8 and 9 to pull within 1 down at the turn.
He was in great position on 10, looking at an 8-footer for the tie. But Lee rolled in a 30-footer for birdie, and Bayley missed his birdie putt. He then lost 12 and 13 to fall 4 down.
On 15 Lee hit it into the hazard, but Bayley three-putted to halve the hole. He three-putted the next hole and settled for a halve, and the match was over.
"Today was not a good day," Bayley said. "I hit the ball very poor, and putted even more poor."
It was the first match-play round of Bayley's life.
"It was lots and lots of fun," he said. "I could tell I like it more than stroke play - you're going up against one person, and you can strategize your game against one person."
Bayley plans to play in the Washington Junior Golf Association state tournament in Seattle starting July 25, and he may play in another tourney or two before beginning practice with the Lakeland High football team, where he is the projected starting quarterback, in early August.