Connor Brown will attempt to carry over the momentum of his record-low 67 at Monday and Tuesday’s state golf tournament at University Ridge in Madison. (Mike Ramczyk/SLN)

By Tim Wester

Sports Correspondent  

After finishing 34th last season at the WIAA State Golf Championships at University Ridge, Union Grove junior Connor Brown made a few rules for his return trip this year.

The first rule was to not let a bad hole affect his entire performance. The second rule was to stay consistent and remain confident.

Brown followed both rules to near-perfection, shooting a 6-over-par 150 to finish 11th overall at the two-day tournament Monday and Tuesday June 4-5.

“I think I did pretty good overall,” Brown said. “I wanted to get a top ten finish, so I was just one off of that.”

Brown points to a sluggish first day in which he shot a 5-over-par 77 that dropped him to 29th overall as the culprit for narrowly missing the top ten.

“The first day I double-bogeyed the sixth hole after a bad second shot and then a bad wedge,” Brown said. “But I didn’t let that one hole bother me the rest of the day.”

Brown then rebounded the second day with a one-over-par 73 to make his charge towards the top ten.

“I played a lot better the second day,” Brown said. “I doubled bogeyed the par 4 10th hole, but I didn’t let it bother and made up for it with a birdie.”

Brown’s coach, Eric Swanson, had a similar assessment.

“The state tournament is a mental grind and Connor handled it extremely well,” Swanson said. “He really showed that he can compete with the best in the state.”

Now that his season is over, Brown took a moment to reflect on his remarkable run.

After medaling at sectionals, Brown became the first Union Grove boys’ golfer to qualify for the state championship two consecutive seasons.

“Because I shot so well at sectionals, it was more special coming into state this season,” Brown said. “To make it two years in a row is very special to me.”

Brown will get his chance for a third trip to state next spring. After progressing from 34th to 11th this year, Brown wants to take another big step his senior season.

“I definitely want to be back next year, but I still have to get there first,” Brown said. “If I do get there, I think I have a shot to be one of the six medalists.”