Jed Baranczyk hit a double bogey on the first hole of the WIAA state boys golf meet.
It was one of the few times the Bay Port standout actually looked like a freshman earlier this month at University Ridge in Madison.
You wouldn’t have been able to tell Baranczyk’s age based on the pair of 1-over-par 73s he carded to place third in Division 1 at the two-day event.
“A lot of people did not know,” said Baranczyk, who is Press-Gazette Media’s boys golfer of the year. “They were like that’s great, keep going with golf.”
The freshman phenom’s tee shots and putts were certainly going in the right direction during his stellar first season.
Baranczyk recorded a 38.75 nine-hole average to earn Fox River Classic Conference player of the year honors.
He not only became Bay Port’s first state medalist, but also was the first freshman to medal in Division 1 since 2006.
“The term real deal comes up a lot with him,” Bay Port coach Craig Buchinger said. “He’s not just accidentally shooting these low scores. He’s very much in control of his golf game. He doesn’t golf like a freshman.
“I’ve known he’s been really good for a number of years now because he plays in so many Junior PGA events throughout the state. He certainly put up scores as a seventh- and eighth-grader that made you think this kid could be the real deal. I think he pretty much proved that this year.”
Baranczyk, along with his older brother, Max, led the Pirates to their third team state appearance in four years by winning a sectional championship. It was a sectional that included Green Bay Notre Dame, which went on to become the D1 state runner-up for a second straight year.
Baranczyk’s two-day score of 146 at the state meet was the best by an area player since 2012, when Green Bay Southwest’s Andrew Schmidt fired a 145 to place fourth in D1.
It’s the highest any freshman has placed in D1 since Eau Claire Memorial’s Brady Keegan placed third in 2005. Baranczyk’s score was the lowest by a freshman since Madison La Follette’s Andrew Steinhofer carded a 143 to place fifth in 2006.
“It’s awesome,” Baranczyk said. “It has sunk in some, but it’s awesome.”
Baranczyk said his goal for next year is to play better.
“I hope this is the tip of the iceberg with him,” Buchinger said. “I know he has pretty lofty goals. He has three more seasons to attain some of those goals. The sky is the limit with Jed. He’s got the right attitude, he definitely has the game and he has the work ethic.”