Freshman phenom Glynn ready to roll for his sophomore campaign

Connor Glynn is ready to step up again to be a young leader next season for the Gophers after a spectacular start last year.

Waconia High School senior and University of Minnesota golf recruit Connor Glynn follows the ball during the Minnesota state tournament at Bunker Hlils Golf Club in Coon Rapids on Tuesday, June 11. 

Image by Cleo Krejci

Waconia High School senior and University of Minnesota golf recruit Connor Glynn follows the ball during the Minnesota state tournament at Bunker Hlils Golf Club in Coon Rapids on Tuesday, June 11. 

by Matthew Kennedy

It didn’t take long for Connor Glynn to make an impact for the Gophers’ men’s golf team. 

As one of only two first years on the Gophers’ roster this season, Glynn’s stellar play in the fall stood out as he became a force for the Gophers. His 71.33 round average ranked second on the team behind Angus Flanagan, and Glynn notably tied for fifth at the Macdonald Cup in New Haven, Connecticut. The Gophers team received a first-place trophy at the tournament — its first in over five years. 

While Glynn’s impact was immediately felt, transitioning to collegiate golf was a challenge for the Minnesota 2019 Mr. Golf award winner. Not only did the competition heighten at the Big Ten level compared to his high school days playing for the Waconia Wildcats, but Glynn also had to adapt to a different lifestyle and training regimen. 

In high school, Glynn’s in-season training was limited to the spring when the snow melted. But at Minnesota, the John W. Mooty Golf Facility is open to student-athletes year-round. And athletes’ training isn’t limited to working on their short game in the practice facilities. During the fall, golfers complete three daily workouts before their classes begin. While this transition was at times overwhelming, Glynn welcomes it.  

“Golf — like other sports, I assume — playing for a team in the Big Ten like the Gophers, takes over your life,” he said. “Yet, I couldn’t be happier playing the game I love nonstop with my teammates, who really are like brothers to me, which makes it that much more fun.”

Another adjustment as a freshman is the pressure that comes with being on the national golf stage for the first time. Luckily, Glynn has a personal relationship with assistant coach Matt Rachey. Rachey, a fellow Waconia native, previously played for the Gophers from 2013 to 2017. Rachey and Glynn’s relationship goes back years as golf standouts from the same hometown. 

“Matt walked with me on every single hole during the last four tournaments of the fall season,” Glynn said. “It was great because he knows my game as well as I know mine, and his advice really helped me get my mind off of things and just take everything one shot at a time.”

Listening to Rachey’s advice, the pressure of the national golf stage didn’t slow down Glynn as he was honored in the yearly Big Ten awards alongside Flanagan. Flanagan was named first-team All-Big Ten, and Glynn notched second-team All-Big Ten honors. Glynn also earned a Big Ten Sportsmanship Award, demonstrating not just his play on the course but also his character. 

“I’m extremely honored. It’s not just my coaches voting for me but the others around the conference as well,” he said. “To have them recognize and honor my hard work and play meant quite a lot to me.” 

While Glynn didn’t get the chance to see if his momentum would carry into the spring, as the season was canceled amid the coronavirus pandemic, his contributions during the fall season helped the Gophers move up 37 spots in the NCAA rankings. Minnesota currently ranks 53 out of 294 teams in the country. 

Even though Glynn didn’t get to compete in the spring, he’s confident as he looks toward next season. Glynn feels sure the Gophers will be able to replicate the success the team saw in the fall.

He said, “All of us are super determined. We all recognize we have to build off of our recent success because this is the best our team has been in a while. If we have the same mentality of taking one tournament, hole and shot at a time, staying hungry and keeping mentally focused at a high level, the sky’s the limit.”