ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF)–The Aldeen Cup brings out the best in Rockford golfer TJ Baker, and he was never better than he was in Sunday’s second and final round at the Aldeen Golf Club.
Baker shot a tournament record 65, seven strokes under par. He didn’t have a single bogey. He had five birdies and he eagled the final hole. The 65 combined with Baker’s 68 on Saturday left him 11 strokes under par for the tournament. He won by 13 strokes over runner-up Matt Smith of Machesney Park.
Baker entered Sunday’s round with a five-stroke lead. He shot three-under on the front nine with birdies on holes 2, 6, and 7. On the back nine he biride 13 and 17 before capping the weekend off with his eagle.
“That was awesome!,” said Baker. “I told myself I’ve been hitting it good all weekend. I might as well go for it. Try to end on a bang. I know Chris had told me before, Chris Beto has the tournament record out here a 66, so I needed to make eagle to beat it and I got it.”
This is the third straight year Baker has won the Aldeen Cup. He also won the Greater Rockford Men’s Classic last summer. Baker says he’ll be back in two weeks to try to defend that championship.
Baker is also a former IHSA individual state golf champion while at Boylan. He currently is about to enter his junior year at SIU-Edwardsville where this past season he led the team in scoring with a 73.24 average. He also was named first team All-Ohio Valley Conference.
FINAL RESULTS (ALDEEN CUP)
- TJ Baker 68-65 -11
- Matt Smith 75-71 +2
- Robert Dofflemyer 73-75 +4
T4. Javier Jazo 77-72 +5
T4. David Nagel 77-72 +5
T6 Matthew Tamar 77-75 +8
T6 Mike Morig 74-78 +8
T8 Jamie Hogan 80-73 +9
T8 Grant Romine 78-75 +9
T8 Owen Hultman 74-79 +9