Warwick native and Bishop Hendricken alum Ben DeFelice had a breakout year for the Roger Williams golf team, and was recently named the Commonwealth Coast Conference Rookie of the Year.
DeFelice played in 10 rounds at six events this past season for RWU. He shot 81 (9) at the CCC Qualifier to place tied for 19th, while finishing in a tie for 10th at the CCC Championship with a 36-hole score of 156 (). He also tied for fifth at the MCLA invitational and tied for 10th at the CCC Championship.
DeFelice, who played hockey and golf for the Hawks, was excited to get his collegiate career off to a successful start, and felt that zeroing in on one sport was key in his development.
“It was really reassuring for me as a player, for my confidence. It was a symbol for the work that I put in and the practice. In high school I played both hockey and golf, once I graduated, I decided to make golf my main focus so I was happy to see my hard work pay off,” said DeFelice.
As one of the youngest players in the conference, DeFelice knew that he would have to focus on his game, and not get wrapped up in the other veterans that he would be going head to head with on the course.
“I knew that I was a lot younger than a lot of the kids that I was facing week in and week out, but I never looked at it like that. I made it clear to myself that I belonged there and that I would compete to the best of my ability. To adjust to that level, I had to get stronger mentally, not worry about other things and play in my own environment,” said DeFelice, who was proud to reach the goals that he set prior to the campaign. “Just who I am as a player and competitor, I had high expectations for myself. I hoped that I would make the impact that I did, I wouldn’t say that it was a surprise because I set that goal for myself, but I was happy that I got the award.”
DeFelice expects to raise the bar for his sophomore season, and hopes to take the lessons he learned this spring with him along the way.
“Next year is going to be a big year for me coming off being named the rookie of the year. I’m striving to get better, I’m going to try to keep that momentum and bring it into next year,” said DeFelice. “I’m going to try to take the methods that I learned in practice and take it into next year and have an even bigger season.”