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Alumni Athlete: Daniel Connolly '16

At every step on his path, Daniel Connolly '16 says his Stuart Hall education helped position him for success.

This article was originally published in the 2021–22 Convent & Stuart Hall Alumni Bulletin as part of a story featuring alumni who have gone on to achieve great athletic success in college and beyond.

On a summer day at Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach, Daniel Connolly ’16 entered the final round of the 2021 Northern California Stroke Play Championship tied for the lead. Playing in the last group was hardly a surprise for him. After all, Daniel had won the same tournament in 2017. In a thrilling finish, he leaned on that familiarity, shooting a score of 32 on the back nine holes and a final-round 4-under 67. Daniel’s father, Martin, who was on the bag as his caddie, was there to celebrate the four-shot victory with him. 

Daniel continued his supreme year by winning the President’s Cup at the Olympic Club and earning the top seed for the San Francisco City Championship in November by virtue of finishing 9-under par in two qualifying rounds at Lincoln Park and TPC Harding Park. His momentum was only slowed in the Round of 16 after winning two rounds of match play. 

Daniel was an integral part of Southern Methodist University’s 2019 team that finished as the highest-ranked team in school history and competed in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships. After graduating with a degree in Applied Physiology and Sport Management, he dedicated himself to riding out the early days of the pandemic by further honing his golf game. With ambitions of earning a spot on the Canadian Tour, Daniel competed in a Qualifying Tournament, or Q-School, and just missed finishing among a group of golfers who earned a spot on the tour. 

Daniel, now 24, has decided to continue playing as an amateur and has his sights set on qualifying for this year’s U.S. Amateur Championship. At every step on his path, Daniel says his Stuart Hall education helped position him for success, adding that “The life lessons I picked up from the caring, compassionate staff that had a vested interest in the personal growth and well-being of each student are truly what shaped me.”