Sewickley Academy athlete of the week: Tim Fitzgerald

Tuesday, October 29, 2019 | 1:15 PM

Tim Fitzgerald

School: Sewickley Academy

Sport: Golf

Class: Junior

Claim to fame: Tim Fitzgerald helped lead Sewickley Academy to its second PIAA boys golf championship in three years.

He finished with an 8-over round of 79, and the Panthers had a total of 320, one stroke less than second-place Scranton Prep.

“I was on junior varsity (in 2017), so this was a great feeling being on varsity and winning it really for the first time for me,” Fitzgerald said.

What did you learn the last two years that helped you become a key member of this state championship team?

I think it was the constant reminder to have fun. We’re lucky to be able to play golf for the team and to be able to compete for state championships. So, I learned to remember that it is a game, and that helped me stay level-headed.

JF Aber has been one of the best golfers in the state for years. What did you take from his game that helped your own?

I think one of the strongest parts of his game is his mental game. He never really gets too high or too low, and that’s something I’ve tried to implement.

You were behind 10 strokes after six holes. What do you feel was key in making a comeback?

I don’t even know that I knew we were that far behind at the time. I think we realized if we just kept grinding away, we’d have a shot. When it came down to the last nine holes, I think we played it, as a team, just a couple over par. We knew if we played well down the stretch, we’d have a shot at winning.

What was an important hole for you at states?

What helped me stay in it was No. 5, a downhill par 3. My first tee shot I hit it far right after I picked up the wrong club, so it landed in some brush. I had to take a drop, and had a five. I think the fact I didn’t get worried or too amped up about it helped me stay in it and realize I was OK. I made a couple straight pars after that.

What else are you involved in at Sewickley Academy?

I’m a part of a couple of clubs. One is Adopt-A-Grandparent at Masonic Village where we go up and talk to residents. I also play squash in the winter and tennis in the spring. I try to do as much as I can, because it’s a great school with a lot to offer.

Do you have any cool stories about Adopt-A-Grandparent?

A resident I worked a lot with last year had a lot of funny stories. He was a farmer, and he always had interesting things tell. … Hearing his life story and learning from it was really fun and a great experience.

If you could play with one pro, who would it be?

Jordan Spieth, because I’ve followed him for a while. Just like JF, he doesn’t get too high or too low, and I think I could learn something from his putting.