Sitting in the doctor’s office, wondering why his body ached so much, Connor Greenleaf chided his father, Brad, when he asked his son be tested for Lyme disease.
“Everyone knows golfers hang around the woods,” the Windham High senior said. “You go in the long grass, and the ticks will find you.”
But not Greenleaf. One of the top amateurs in the region, he hits it straight.
“I thought testing for it was ridiculous,” said Greenleaf. “I guess it had to be looking for someone else’s ball then, not mine.”
Greenleaf can joke now, especially since he got the last laugh Saturday — overcoming illness, tough conditions and a four-shot hole to win the NHIAA Division 2 State Individual title.
The talented 17-year-old had hardly broken a smile through the fall season, fighting a disease that only was diagnosed correctly a couple weeks ago.
“This was the first time, I’ve ever been ‘disease’ sick. I’ve never been a sick person, so that’s why it was such a surprise,” said Greenleaf, explaining the symptoms.
“I had entered a couple tournaments back toward the end of summer, but had to withdraw because I was vomiting on the course. It’s not like a sharp pain, it’s achiness.
“It gets harder and harder to move and mostly affected my energy. Getting up for school was practically impossible. To even play a rounds of golf after school was agonizing. I had no energy left. It was a grind.”
To Greenleaf’s credit, he gritted out Windham’s second straight unbeaten regular season, only recently having antibiotics prescribed to treat the disease.
Right up until last weekend’s state finals he was feeling the effects.
“At one point, it was just terrible. I remember vomiting in a high school match and continuing on,” he said. “But only in the last three weeks did things start to get better.