The summer vacation for Derek Bayley has been a busy one.
And it is just about to pick up again.
Fresh off a week-long football camp at Eastern Washington University, Bayley, who will be a junior at Lakeland High this fall, qualified for the U.S. Junior Amateur tournament in Stratham, N.H., July 16-21 by finishing second at a qualifier Monday at Manito Country Club in Spokane.
"It's really, really cool," Bayley said. "Just to think about going back east, it's incredible."
Also in the field at the national tournament will be Beau Hossler, who was among the leaders before finishing in a tie for 29th at 9-over par at the U.S. Open two weeks ago in San Francisco.
"Just to think about playing the guy that was contending in the U.S. Open, it's a dream," Bayley said.
Bayley added that he's not as worried about playing against Hossler.
"Playing against him, he's just one of 156 guys," Bayley said. "You just need to think about that and not change what you're doing with your own game."
Bayley shot a two-round total of 140, and won a sudden-death playoff on the first hole.
“I just figured you’ve just got to play your own game,” Bayley said of the playoff. “If you hit four good shots, you should be OK. Just the fact you’re in the playoff with a really good player, I just tried to think about that and control my own game.”
Other locals competing were John Duffin (75-76—151), Michael Porter (78-78—156) and Stephen Roller (80-76—156) of Coeur d’Alene, and Kenny Dodge of Post Falls (87-75—162). Allison Duffin of Hayden shot a 91 in the girls qualifier.
At nationals, all competitors will play 36 holes of stroke play, then the field will be cut to 64 for match play.
In similar fashion this spring, Bayley won the state 4A tournament by prevailing on the first hole of a sudden death playoff.
This time, Bayley had his best friend and fellow Lakeland golfer Hayden Nosworthy caddy for him.
“It really helped not to get anxious to have him there to support me,” Bayley said. “He’d talk to me to get my mind off of it and I wasn’t as nervous as I was at the state championships. It really made me have zero nerves.”
Bayley also added that Nosworthy had done everything to prepare, including watching Steve Williams when he caddied for Tiger Woods.
“It was just nice to have someone to talk to,” Bayley said.
After the first round, Bayley trailed by two shots and didn’t have the best start.
“I started par, bogey, bogey,” Bayley said. “I was pretty down and was thinking everyone was doing better than me. I was walking off the green, throwing my head around and lost my focus. Hayden grabbed me by the shirt, shook me and said no more bogeys.”
Bayley didn’t have another bogey in the second round.
Bayley will compete in a Junior Worlds qualifier on Thursday at Tumwater Valley Golf Club near Olympia, with the top four qualifying to that tournament at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego. Roller and Porter will also play in the Junior Worlds qualifier.
Bayley tied for sixth in a Junior Worlds qualifier last week in Nampa. The top three qualified.
“Right now, it feels like I’m just getting started,” Bayley said. “I only played a couple of rounds last week because of football camp. But it’s all golf now.”
Bayley, who also plays basketball at Lakeland, is the projected starting quarterback this fall for the Hawks.
“I’ve got nothing else to deal with right now,” Bayley said. “No basketball or football — it’s just all golf right now.”
However, he did get plenty of time with the football team during the EWU camp.
“I threw the ball about a 1,000 times,” Bayley said. “I don’t have many expectations and it’s just another competition or high level game for me. Like in everything I do, whether it’s competing in a basketball game — competing is the fun thing in the world to me.”