Bay Port standout Jo Baranczyk is no stranger to the big stage.
In fact, Baranczyk became the first Green Bay area player to win a girl’s state golf championship, after taking home the Division 1 state title last fall as a sophomore. Now, she’ll go up against 156 other golfers in the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship this Monday at SentryWorld Golf Course in Stevens Point.
“Being a junior golfer, it’s always your dream to be able to play in one of these tournaments, so yeah I’m extremely excited,” Baranczyk said.
With SentryWorld Golf Course just two hours away, Baranczyk is expecting the warm welcome that will come as she represents her home state.
“Some people laugh when I have a big herd of my family around, so they’re all amazing,” Baranczyk said.
Not only has Baranczyk already played at SentryWorld a few times, but her older brothers Max and Jed will also be on her bag for the tournament.
“We’re so familiar with eachother’s games that we’ve been playing together for so long, it kind of falls into place,” Jed Baranczyk said. “It’s always a lot of fun.”
“Jed probably knows my game a little bit better and he knows when not to go for it,” Baranczyk said. “Max is always kind of up for me going for it, but they’re both really great.”
As she now heads into her final days of prep, Baranczyk can’t help but notice the ramifications if she plays well in the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship. Last year’s champion, 17-year-old Yealimi Noh, finished in a tie for sixth at the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic just a few weeks ago.
“She was another junior golfer and she had the chance to play in this and she did amazing, so you know it gives me a little bit of confidence that you know, people really can move up and play well,” Baranczyk said.
With an exemption into next year’s U.S. Women’s Open at stake, it’s time to just tee it up.
“I think just keep my nerves in check and keep my head in it,” Baranczyk said. “Just try to not get too mad if something doesn’t go right and hopefully all will.”
The 71st U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship begins July 22-27 at SentryWorld Golf Course in Stevens Point.