One of the Fairfield University men’s golf team’s longest-tenured members is looking to close out his final season strong.
Graduate Student Patrick McCarthy grew up surrounded by golf. Though he found interest in other sports such as basketball, he has golfed since he was a young child. According to him, his time in high school helped him fully realize his passion for picking up the clubs.
McCarthy’s family is no stranger to the sport, as his father played golf at James Madison University and his brother, Michael McCarthy, played golf at Loyola University Maryland. The Bethesda, Md. natives attended Gonzaga College High School in nearby Washington, D.C. and continued their golfing careers into their college years.
His cousin, Denny McCarthy, is a part of the Professional Golfer’s Association of America (PGA of America) and has played in over 150 events according to his official online profile.
With this in mind, it is no surprise that Patrick has continued to play and love the game of golf.
Currently, McCarthy’s mind is set on “gearing up for the second half of the season.” According to the men’s golf team’s official schedule, the squad has participated in three events with three more on the horizon. The team currently sits in the tail-end of a three-week break.
Looking to the future, the team will square off in the Sacred Heart University Fall Classic in mid-October, the Lehigh Invitational a week later and finally the Bucknell Veterans Intercollegiate just a week after that.
Out of the three events they’ve taken on, McCarthy called it a “pretty solid start so far,” noting that successful efforts from Anthony Naples ‘27 have helped the team prevail in the early stages of the year.
In the Ryan T. Lee Memorial Collegiate, Naples scored a -5, sharing third place with Villanova University’s Peter Weaver and the United States Military Academy’s John Heckel, Jr. McCarthy slotted in the 32nd spot, helping Fairfield University to a sixth place finish out of 17 total teams.
Reflecting on his personal play this year, McCarthy spoke to his success in ball-striking but acknowledges that there is room for improvement in his short game.
“So, over the next couple of weeks, I’m really going to work hard on my putting to kind of gear it up for the second half of the season and have a strong second half,” McCarthy shared.
McCarthy and the team most recently competed in Yale University’s MacDonald Cup on Sept. 23 and Sept. 24, which takes place at The Course at Yale in New Haven, Conn. Fellow graduate student Shane DiVincenzo placed fifth overall, propelling the Stags to a fifth-place finish in the tournament out of 12 total teams.
Fairfield University Playing Career
When thinking back on the highlights of his playing career at Fairfield, McCarthy looks to his win at the Hartford/Tumble Brook Invite back in 2021, his sophomore year. According to the official player leaderboard, McCarthy took the top honors with a score of 68, staying just two points ahead of 2023 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference winner Killian McGinley ‘23, who tied for second.
In his 2022 campaign, McCarthy posted the second-lowest scoring average in Fairfield golf history, which has pushed the Stags to the brink of success.
“The last three years, we’ve kind of been right there knocking on the door to win the conference championship, which we haven’t won yet,” he explained. “Just to see how far the team has come in the last few years, that’s just a great thing to be a part of.”
McCarthy also spoke to the challenges he has faced over the course of his playing career as a Stag. He referred to himself as “on the bubble” to make the conference championship roster back in the spring of his second year, but after a top-ten finish in the conference at an event, he made the lineup.
“That was kind of a challenge that I faced that I overcame, which was pretty cool,” he shared.
Beyond The Golf Course
Knowing he had the intention to play golf in college, he decided to come to Fairfield after being a “late bloomer” in high school golf. “[…] I’ve obviously fallen in love with the school,” he shared. “It’s probably been some of the greatest years of my life.”
In terms of his personal career, he feels as though golf has helped him develop high aptitudes in “competitiveness and mental toughness,” citing that golf has helped him become a fierce competitor. He mentioned that golf is additionally a great social outlet; playing for leisure with friends or keeping things competitive makes it so that one can “never get sick of it.”
McCarthy graduated from Fairfield last fall but is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration in Finance. Once he finishes that program in the spring of 2024, he will assume a new role at Deloitte, working in financial consulting.
Though he will be entering his career, McCarthy plans on sticking around in the game of golf. He plans on playing in amateur golf tournaments at the state level in the future.
“It’s definitely going to be a sport that’s going to be a part of my life for hopefully as long as possible,” he mentioned.