Wellesley Conner Willett won the 114 Massachusetts Amateur Championship on Friday afternoon, less than week after his father Rick died unexpectedly.
Willett, a member of Georgetown University’s golf team, defeated fellow teen Ryan Downes over 36 holes at Concord Country Club, with scores of 67 and 61 vs. 69 and 63. Willett finished strong in each of the rounds played during the finals.
According to the Mass Golf site, the 19-year-old Willett said after the semifinals that a conversation he had with his dad helped him prep for the tournament.
“It changed my whole attitude, and I’ve just kind of kept rolling since then,” Willett said in the interview. “I haven’t thought about my swing and over a month. I just walk out there and just keep doing the same thing… I was really anxious and really nervous going into rounds. I was really scared of shooting 80, and my dad just gave me a boost of motivation just to be the top dog and just have the confidence or have a little positive self talk, and it definitely goes a long way.”
Wellesley High alum Michael Thorbjornsen, who recently played in the U.S. Open, won the Mass Amateur title last year.