By Conor Bailey
Connor Christie, 18, is a freshman on the men’s golf team at Shenandoah University. The freshman is a newcomer to the team from Buffalo, New York, and has played golf since he was 12 years old. Christie always dreamed of playing on a college golf team and knew it would take a lot of work to get to that level of performance. When Christie sunk the last putt on 18 at Lakeview Country Club to win the Kinder-Williams Invitational on Sept. 20 in Rockingham, he knew his work was finally paying off.
When Christie got an offer to play at Shenandoah, he knew that this was his home and he was ready to put in the work. The Shenandoah head golf coach Scott Singhass held qualifying for the Lakeview tournament on Sept. 15, 16, and 17 to determine who the top five players would be to represent the school. Unfortunately, Christie missed the top five by three strokes and was told he wouldn’t be traveling. Later that day, Singhass broke the news to the team that they would be allowed to bring a B team to the Harrisonburg tournament at Lake View CC.
Christie was ecstatic with the news and knew that it was his chance to prove himself. When the team arrived at Lakeview CC on Sept. 19, he was feeling confident due to all the prior work he put into his game. He explained how he oddly was not feeling too much pressure to perform since he was only on the B team. That confidence led Christie to shoot a career-low round of even par 72 to put himself one back of the lead going into the second day.
“My putting was definitely what was working best for me this weekend,” said Christie. “A few putts dropped that I don’t always do in tournaments, which is what led me to shoot such a good score.”
Christie went on to enjoy the rest of the night with his team, but he said he knew inside that the work was not done. His teammates said he was more focused and calm than they had ever seen him before. When day two rolled around, Christie was the last one to tee off in the morning as he was paired with the group leaders. His game felt better than it ever had, he was hitting fairways, and making putts, and everything seemed to be going his way. As the round went on, he explained how he was definitely feeling the pressure coming down the stretch knowing he was in contention, but he tried to keep his cool and just play the same game he had done all weekend.
When Christie finally holed his last putt on 18 to shoot his new career low of three under par 69 to win the tournament, he took a good look around and realized what he just did. Christie walked over to the scorers’ table, signed his card, and made it official to win the 2022 Kinder-Williams Invitational at Lakeview CC. Coach Singhass congratulated him as he walked off. Singhass exclaimed that he was super proud of Christie, he only wishes that he had him on the A team.
Fellow teammate Trevor Berg said he is “thrilled to have such a competitive squad this year.”
This win by Christie was the first tournament win that Shenandoah golf has had in the last six years. Christie and the whole team are very happy about the win and are excited for what’s to come for the rest of the season.
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