Bauer’s success no stroke of luck

Colfax grad may be superstitious, but focus, commitment helped him become All-American
By: Ray Hacke, Journal Sports Writer
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The word “superstitious” fits Patrick Bauer to a tee – four of them, actually. Now an All-America golfer at Sonoma State University, the Colfax High graduate always carries four tees in his right pocket whenever he’s out on the course. “Back in my junior or senior year of high school, I started every round with four tees in my pocket,” Bauer recalled. “One time I didn’t do that, and I shot a bad round. I told myself I would never do that again. “It feels weird when I don’t have four tees in my pocket.” Who’s to say whether Bauer’s superstition actually helps him play well? After all, former Major League Baseball star Wade Boggs once ate chicken before a game in which he got multiple hits, which led him to start eating chicken before every game. Boggs finished his major league career with 3,010 career hits and five batting titles. One thing that is clear, however, is that Bauer has already emerged as one of Sonoma State’s top players. The sophomore was just named the California Collegiate Athletic Association’s Player of the Week for March 16-22 for winning Cal State Monterey Bay’s Otter Invitational. The victory was the first of Bauer’s college career. “My first win was something I worked really hard for,” said Bauer, who turned in a three-round total of 215 to win the Otter Invitational by four strokes. “In (seven) events (before winning), I’d had (five) top-10 finishes. It was just a matter of putting three good rounds together, staying focused and staying committed, and (last) week I was able to do that.” Bauer finished second in two of Sonoma State’s first three tournaments of the season but hadn’t finished higher than sixth since then before posting his win. Last year Bauer came on strong toward the end of the season, placing fifth at the NCAA Division II West Regional in Petaluma en route to becoming an honorable mention All-American. He’s just the second Sonoma State athlete in any sport to earn All-America honors as a freshman. “Becoming an All-American was a little bit of a surprise,” Bauer said. “It’s awesome – it was really great to receive that. “This year I’m just trying to build off the success I had last year and help the team.” A business major who is considering a concentration in management, Bauer believes he has a chance to make his golf career last beyond his remaining two years of collegiate eligibility. “I’d like to take it to the professional level after college and see what happens,” he said. “As long as I keep getting better the next two or three years, I think I’ve got a shot at it. I just need to keep being dedicated and practice a ton