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No interest in missing links

Lakeland High golfer Derek Bayley shot a 78 from the red tees at Prairie Falls as a 10-year-old.
Lakeland High golfer Derek Bayley shot a 78 from the red tees at Prairie Falls as a 10-year-old.

Derek Bayley’s favorite sport is often dictated by the calendar.

“It probably goes golf, basketball, football,” the Lakeland High junior said, “but it really depends on the season.”

When Bayley dislocated his left shoulder in a basketball game in December, he rehabilitated with the objective of returning to the court as soon as possible. When his shoulder popped out of place again in his first game back in early February, his goal became maximizing the remainder of his high school career.

That meant something had to give. He needs surgery to repair a torn labrum and faces a probable recovery of 4-6 months.

Bayley is one of the top prep golfers in the region and he’s being recruited by Pac-12, WCC, WAC and Mountain West schools. He won the Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur Public Links last summer and captured the Idaho 4A state title in a three-way playoff last May. He’s also the starting quarterback, running plays called by his dad, Mike, the Hawks’ longtime offensive coordinator, and an accomplished basketball player.

Bayley elected to play golf this spring and throughout the summer tournament schedule. Then he’ll have surgery, which means football is out. He hopes to return during the basketball season.

“If I got it fixed right away (in February) I would have still missed football and I wouldn’t have played golf,” said Bayley, whose sister Chelsea plays for Whitworth’s golf team. “I didn’t want to go a year and a half without playing golf.”

Bayley, playing pain-free, has been medalist twice and runner-up twice in six prep tournaments. He tied for sixth Thursday with a 72 at Palouse Ridge.

Bayley started playing golf at age 8 when his grandparents took him to Rimrock, a 9-hole course north of Coeur d’Alene that is no longer in business.

“My parents kept telling me how well he was doing,” said Mike, who has stepped down as offensive coordinator. “Probably the first number that jumped out at me was when he won the Idaho junior championship at age 10 with a 78 from the reds (tees) at Prairie Falls, other than my mom telling me he shot 31 at Rimrock.”

Derek progressed steadily through the junior ranks. His scoring average for Lakeland last year was 72.3 and he won four of his last five tournaments. He played in the U.S. Junior Amateur last summer, advancing to the match-play portion.

Bayley, whose swing coach is Manito pro Steve Prugh, has long-range goals.

“I definitely want to play four years of college golf,” he said. “My ultimate goal is obviously to make it to the (PGA) tour. We’ll see how it goes.”

GSL update

Mt. Spokane won its third straight GSL girls tournament, but the margin has shrunk each time. The Wildcats, behind medalist Sierra Bezdicek’s 73 at MeadowWood, finished with a team score of 464, one stroke in front of Gonzaga Prep. Sierra Kersten carded a 76 to help Lewis and Clark take third with 475.

Ferris’ boys extended their lead in the standings by capturing first at MeadowWood. Camus Chapman was medalist with a 74 and Saxons teammate Eric Ansett shot a 75. Mead was second and Mt. Spokane third.

Vikings first, second

The Coeur d’Alene boys and girls won titles at the Lake City Invitational on Tuesday at Coeur d’Alene Public Golf Course. Stephen Roller’s 72 and Chase Lincoln’s 74 led the boys. Mackenzie Phillips paced the Viking girls with an 82.

Coeur d’Alene’s boys, led by Roller’s and Michael Porter’s 1-over 73s, placed second at the Palouse Ridge Invitational on Thursday. Post Falls’ Corey Beaver shared medalist honors with a 68. Hanford won the team title. Ferris was third.