Chloe Bartek could have taken out the putter on the 18th tee in the final round of the Class 3A district golf tournament and smacked the ball a bunch of times toward the green — and still would have won the tournament.
As she stood on that tee box, the sophomore from Columbia River held a 13-shot lead.
She ended up winning by 14 — finishing with a birdie to accentuate the accomplishment.
“I think I was more dedicated this year,” Bartek said. “I really got more into it this year.”
Bartek, who finished third in the district tournament as a freshman, turned that dedication into performance. Not only with that district championship but also with the best scoring average in Clark County.
She had a couple of rough holes in the final round of the Class 3A state tournament that dropped her out of the top 10, but her overall excellence throughout the season has led to The Columbian selecting her as the All-Region girls golfer of the year.
Bartek fired a final round 3-over-par 76 at the district tournament — a personal best and the highlight of the season for her.
“It’s pretty amazing. As a sophomore, to have that title, district champion,” Bartek said. “It’s kind of cool.”
Already, she is thinking ahead to 2012.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge of defending that title,” she said. “I want to be in the 70s on both days.”
While the high school season has concluded, golf season is just starting in this region. Bartek expects to play in several junior tournaments this summer. And she will practice year-round.
This is, after all, her game. It’s the sport she wants to excel at well into college and possibly beyond.
She said the game is relaxing … usually.
Then there are those moments of frustration. Bartek had two bad holes in the final round at state that took her out of contention for a top-10 finish. She would end up 17th. Bartek, though, already understands that those things will happen to all golfers from time to time.
“Everybody has bad days,” she said. “I just had mine at state.”
Not all was lost. Late in the round, after hitting her drive into the tree and then barely getting the ball back into the fairway, she was about 90 yards from the green. A perfect shot from there would roll into the hole for a birdie.
“Hey, at least I had one good hole,” she said, recalling her reaction. “That is my highlight for the day.
“You gotta keep going. Good things happen eventually.”