Windermere High School senior golfer Carson Baez won the boys first flight with a 69 (-3) and the overall individual award at the Crutchfield/Hawkins Invitational golf tournament Monday, Sept. 18, in Sebring. This win provided Baez with his fourth consecutive victory this season. Baez also won the Future Masters golf tournament — by 4 strokes — during the summer in the 15-18 age group category shooting a 68-68-69 (-11) with a total of 205. Baez is verbally committed to the University of Richmond in Virginia.
How did you get into golf?
The summer going into kindergarten, I was with my family watching TV scrolling through channels and saw (golf) on TV. I was 5-and-a-half years old, and it just sparked an interest in me immediately. I told my dad, “I want to do that.” So, my parents looked at me and knowing nothing about golf at all, they said, “All right.” After a few lessons, I was hooked.
What do you love most about golf as a sport?
It’s more than a game and how it teaches you more than how to become an athlete ... how to become a person and gentleman.
What do you believe golf has taught you on and off the course?
I can connect it to how hard I work not only to become a better golfer but (also) a better student. It connects to the fact that I’m a big perfectionist, so I try to perfect my golf swing, but I also try to have perfect grades, as well. Also one thing that it’s taught me is how to be a better person — especially around other people (and) how to address them properly, making sure you take your hat off, saying, “Yes sir; no sir.”
What do you think about when you are in the middle of a competition?
When I’m playing with people, I always try to get along with them very well, and I’ll just try to talk about things outside of golf. … But, as soon as I get up to hitting the ball, it’s a totally different mindset. I make sure I focus, and I’m totally committed to what I want to do, and between thoughts, I just try to enjoy myself ... as much as I can.
What is your favorite hobby?
I really do like graphic design or weightlifting, or just being around my friends.
Who is your favorite athlete? Why?
I really like Phil Mickelson. He was a role model (while I was) growing up, considering he was a lefty, as well. I just really like the vibe that he had when he was on the course.
What are three things you would take with you to a deserted island?
A generator, might as well have some sort of cellular communication, and my own tropical island chef, who can make me whatever I want to eat.
What is your favorite movie?
I really like “Star Wars: Episode 3 — Revenge of the Sith.”
If you could choose one person you admire to have dinner with, who would it be?
I would probably go with one of the greatest athletes — just to get their perspective, because a one-on-one is way different than the words they put out there. You can’t go wrong with Tiger (Woods).
Looking back, what would you say to your 10-year-old self?
Just enjoy it more and don’t put so much stress on your shoulders … in a tournament. Not really care so much, because at the end of the day, there is always another tournament. There’s always another round. There’s always another swing to be made.
If you could write a letter to your future self, what would you say?
I would ask myself how is the life on the PGA Tour. … I’d ask, “What would you do different? Is there anything I should know?”
What is your biggest fear?
If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?
The ability to stop time and just to be able to take things in a little bit more and also see how that can affect certain situations.
If you could go back in time to a specific period of history, which one would it be and why?
It would be hard to pass up one of the greatest sports highlights, (so) Masters Sunday in 2005, to watch Tiger (Woods’) final round.
What color would you say represents your personality? Why?
Red; it shows confidence.
If you could be an animal for a day, which one would you be and why?
A Peregrine falcon, because not only can it fly but also it’s the fastest animal on the planet.