Rising sophomore and invaluable contributor to Belmont Hill’s decorated varsity golf program Conner Willett can add another trophy to his collection. Earlier this month, Conner took part in the centennial Massachusetts Junior Amateur Championship, where, playing against stiff competition, he won the Pre-Junior division, a segment of the championship referred to as a “tournament-within-the-tournament.”
Indeed, Conner played well in the larger tournament as well, taking down the higher seeded Aidan Mccloskey by just two strokes en route to a 3-over par finish. Conner finished the stroke play portion of the tournament at a 3-over 145 finish. One of just 16 competitors to qualify for the matchplay portion, Conner, facing opponents four to five years older than him, survived all the way to the round of eight, where he lost to eventual champion James Imai by eight strokes (Conner shot a 4-over strokes over for a total of 55).
Despite his age, Conner benefitted from a certain familiarity with the course (Belmont Country Club). According to Mass Golf’s website, “Although his club affiliation says Charles River CC, [Conner] Willett enjoyed a home-course advantage this week. Willett plays on the golf team at the Belmont Hill School, which is one of three local schools which uses Belmont Country Club as their home course. Willett practices and plays all of his home high school matches on the Belmont layout.”
Now officially a member of the Upper School, Conner will return to the golf team having accrued even more experience in elite competition. With the graduation of gifted senior stalwarts Jack Bell, Oisin Treanor, and Maahin Gulati, Conner figures to play an even more important role this upcoming season.
On August 6, 2018, second-year photography teacher Mr. Duarte played 108 holes of golf during the Francis Ouimet Foundation Golf Marathon. Run out of the Juniper Hill Golf Course in Northborough, Massachusetts, this year, the Francis Ouimet Foundation Golf Marathon has a simple, yet noble mission: “Give gimmes! Take free drops! It’s all accepted at the Golf Marathon. The goal is not to shoot your career round but to play a ton of golf, have a great time and raise money for scholarships while you are doing it!” Through donations and participant fundraising, the golf marathon raised $352K, which will contribute to the Francis Ouimet Scholars Fund, which offers scholarships for kids who work in golf. Already looking forward to next year’s gold marathon, Mr. Duarte hopes to spread his worthwhile experience to the rest of the Belmont Hill community: “I think it would be a wonderful idea to put a faculty team together next summer and raise some funds for a great cause.”