Finn Boynton wrote down all of the goals he wanted to accomplish before his final season for the Notre Dame-West Haven golf team.
Earn medalist laurels in both the Southern Connecticut Conference and Division II state tournaments were two of the bigger ones. Improve his scoring average for nine-hole rounds was also a goal.
Accomplish those things and a few others and that would help clinch another goal Boynton jotted down – to be the Register’s Area MVP.
Writing down goals is one thing. Working hard toward them is completely different. But that’s exactly what Boynton, who earned this year’s MVP, did in the off-season.
“This off-season, I definitely worked harder than any off-season,” said Boynton, this year’s Area MVP. “I took two days off between working out, putting indoors or working with my (swing) coach Tom Rosati.”
When asked if Christmas Day was one of his two days off, Boynton responded, “I actually did putt on Christmas for a couple of hours.”
The hard work continued in between the regular-season matches. He was either medalist or Notre Dame-West Haven’s low man in 11 of the 13 matches. His average nine-hole score was at 36.8, an improvement from last season.
“I felt a lot more confident. I put that much work in every day,” Boynton said. I could see the results in where the golf ball was going. It gave me confidence. I focused on putting more than anything else and it paid off. Now I see a lot of the results from so many hours of putting.”
Notre Dame had a relatively inexperienced team returning other than Boynton. That work ethic the senior captain had paid off, said head coach Steve Kirck.
“Where Finn was most valuable to our team this year really wasn’t in his match performance, which was stellar. His work ethic before and after practice or a match and dedication to his craft in working on his short game rubbed off on the rest of the team. They bought in and followed his lead,” Kirck said.
Boynton crossed off another goal when he fired a 73 at Race Brook Country Club to earn medalist laurels at the SCC championship meet. His 4-under-par 68 at Tallwood CC in Hebron would, on most days, been good enough to be the low man at the CIAC Division II meet. But Wethersfield’s Andrew Sanzaro came in with a 67 in the final group to clip Boynton.
The three-time All-Area and coaches all-state selection visited a number of Division I schools – unofficially – last summer on the way back from a summer tournament. When he was almost home in Milford, his cell phone rang: it was UConn men’s golf coach Dave Pezzino.
“He couldn’t have been more friendly. We set up a visit and I went up and I loved (the campus),” Boynton said.
So Boynton will follow ex-Notre Dame teammate Zach Iannone – a former Area MVP two years ago – to Storrs. Boynton was at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell last month to watch a former UConn Husky, Zach Zaback, play in his first PGA Tour event, the Travelers Championship, as a Monday qualifier.
“That gave me a lot of motivation,” Boynton said. “I definitely want to be on the PGA Tour. That gives me a goal to work toward.”