The Canyon Del Oro Dorados are a big favorite to win Division II at the state golf tournament, and the talented senior golfer Jaime Waltmire is a big reason for that.
Waltmire has already had several strong finishes this year, including finishing fourth place out of 95 golfers at the Arizona Fall Preview at Alta Mesa, and a 20th place out of 100 golfers at the Antigua National High School Invitational.
But in his final year as a Dorado, Waltmire is only looking to settle for first place at state, a feat he managed last year in individual play after defeating Glendale Cactus’ Kale Davidson.
“That was one of the biggest moments of my golfing career,” said Waltmire.
Waltmire, who also shot a personal best score of 64 in a junior golf tournament over the summer, is focused on leading the team to its third consecutive state championship.
“Another state title is the overall goal,” said Waltmire. “We’ve repeated twice, and we’ve got a very strong team this year, and are favored in our division, but we know anything can happen.”
The Dorados picked up some new golfers this season that will only help propel the team into state contention.
Eric and Frankie Wu, both transfers from Ironwood Ridge, are expected to have breakout seasons this year.
“We’ve picked up a few guys, that at first we didn’t know what to expect from, but they’ve turned out to be great golfers,” said Waltmire.
The Dorados will also make good use of returning CDO veteran Chris Meyers.
According to Head Coach John Farbarik, Waltmire is looking more skilled on the golf course than he ever has.
“Jaime has a lot of natural talent that he has honed to a high skill level with years of practice and hard work,” said Farbarik. “He has had golf success for many, many years. It is still easy to forget that he is still just a teenager. He has never had to be much of a leader on our team because we always had an accomplished senior player who handled those duties. He just had to play. But now, he is that senior.”
How will Waltmire keep his team focused and driven to win?
“I’m kind of the guy that just tried to keep it as relaxed as possible,” said Waltmire. “I’m out there telling jokes and having fun, just trying to keep the team calm, but also leading by example.”
Farbarik said one of the keys in coaching a player like Waltmire, who is considered one of the best golfers in Southern Arizona, is to take it a day at a time.
“Jaime cannot hide from his competition,” said Farbarik. “Everyone knows who he is based on previous performances. However, I look forward to keeping him focused on our processes rather than on specific outcomes. If he keeps working hard and staying focused on improving, the rest will take care of itself.”
As talented as he is, Waltmire’s humble attitude has prevented him from thinking his future in golf is set in stone.
“The goal is to play professionally and make it on a tour, and see how I do, but golf is a tough sport to make it in professionally, and you need a backup plan,” he said.
Waltmire, who is in scholarship talks with the University of California, said if professional golf doesn’t work out, he is looking into a career in architecture.
No doubt he will still make some money off his friends on the greens.