CEDAR RAPIDS — Mom came through in the clutch for Dane Worley this weekend.
Worley’s mom traveled to Des Moines on Wednesday to retrieve a new putter for her son’s use in the Cedar Rapids City Amateur. That putter was one of the main reasons Worley won the tournament by five strokes Sunday.
“It feels amazing,” Worley said. “It’s been a couple of years since I’ve won a tournament.”
The putter was ordered a few days before last weekend’s Iowa Amateur Championship in Burlington and arrived this week at Drake. That is where Worley’s mom picked it up on short notice before the Friday start to the City Am.
It didn’t take long for Worley to get used to the putter though.
“It’s a little heavier, so I could grip it lighter … that helped me stay relaxed,” Worley said. “I putted a lot better these last three days and really played mistake free.”
He only recorded five bogeys for the three-day tournament.
Even though he putted better this weekend, Worley had to come from behind Sunday to claim the title. He entered the final round two shots behind Kevin Ault of Hiawatha.
Worley finished with a 206 total. Ault shot 211.
It didn’t take Worley long to claim the lead. He shot a 3-under-par on the front nine to hold a one-shot lead over Ault at the turn.
Ault then faltered on the back nine with a triple bogey midway through, erasing himself from contention. He said it just wasn’t his day, though he finished second in the tournament.
“That triple (bogey) kind of deflated me, took the sails out a little bit, but that’s golf and overall it wasn’t a bad tournament,” Ault said.
The different putter may have helped Worley relax, but learning from one of the best also helped.
Over the years, Worley has developed a relationship with Cedar Rapids native and PGA Tour star Zach Johnson. Worley attends his alma mater, Drake, and has visited with Johnson’s sports psychologist three or four times, he said.
Worley was also able to catch some extra advice before the City Am at last Monday’s Zach Johnson Foundation Classic.
“Zach’s just a great guy to look up to,” Worley said. “All those guys that came to his event last week are class acts but he really stands out. He’s a great player.”
Johnson frequently calls Worley, especially during Drake golf season, Worley said.
Worley will now look ahead to next weekend’s City Match Play at Gardner Golf Course in Cedar Rapids. The top 16 finishers from the City Am will compete in the tournament.
Thanks to the win, Worley, 19, said his confidence is sky high for whatever is next.
“I’m a young gun, but I’m really excited to get back,” Worley said. “I really needed this win, just to have the belief back that I can win again and do it when the pressure’s on.”
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