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Orange golfer plans to attack the pin
Orange golfer plans to attack the pin
By TONY LANGE
Winning four 18-hole tournaments in August, Brynn FitzGerald, a senior at Orange, was nearly perfect last month. She also won matches against Solon, Hawken School, Kenston, Cuyahoga Heights and Laurel School.
A First Team All-Chagrin Valley Conference, First Team All-Northeast Ohio and First Team All-Ohio player, FitzGerald is concentrated on attacking her short game this golf season, she said.
"This year, I've been more focused on attacking the pin when I'm approaching the green. I do a lot of work 100 yards and in," FitzGerald said. "So, I've been giving myself more makeable birdie putts. That's been lowering my scores and I'm hoping to keep doing that for the rest of the season."
FitzGerald's only loss this season was by one stroke to Emily Jereb of Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin during a 9-hole friendly tri-match, she said.
A two-time state qualifier, FitzGerald is focused on returning to Columbus next month to play two rounds at Ohio State University's Gray Golf Course.
After tying for third place at the Division II state championships in 2010, however, she is not putting stress on herself, she said.
"I've always said I would like to get back to states and go back down to Columbus for a third time," FitzGerald said. "Once I get down there, I would just like to enjoy my last couple of rounds and hopefully do well and improve from last year, but I'm not putting too much pressure on myself to do that."
Last October, she shot a 73 her first day and a 79 her second day for a 152 score at the state tournament in Columbus where the Gray Golf course is 5,311 yards and a par 71 from the women's red tee.
Gahanna's Columbus Academy's then-junior Morgan Ransom shot a 140 for first place and Dayton Miami Valley's then-freshman Sarah Kolodzik shot a 147 for second place.
Although she shot six more strokes on her second day, FitzGerald said she usually shoots lower on the second day because of a better familiarity of the course.
"It depends on conditions obviously, but the second day I'm used to the course. I'm comfortable," she said. "I think last year at states when I shot the 79 the second day, I had two double bogeys and they were both on par 3s. So, that's what hurt me."
During her 18-hole medalist performances this August, FitzGerald shot a 72 at the Massillon Jackson Tournament at the Tam O'Shanter Golf Course in Canton, which is a par 72. She shot a 71 at the CVC pre-season tournament at Kent State Golf Course, which is a par 69. She shot a 76 at the Mentor Invitational at the St. Denis Golf Course in Chardon, which is a par 72.
Most notably, FitzGerald shot a 68 at the Padua Invitational at Pines Hills, which is a par 72. It was her lowest score during an 18-hole round of golf, she said. She shot a 74 there her junior year, she said.
"I would say it's one of the more difficult courses we play on during the high school season, but it's early in the season, so I'm just coming off playing the summer tournament where the courses are 600, 700 yards longer and sometimes a lot more challenging," FitzGerald said. "So, it wasn't that unmanageable."
A member of the Acacia Country Club in Lyndhurst, FitzGerald often plays on a course that is 5,700-plus yards long and a par 74 from the women's red tee.
While this is FitzGerald's fourth year playing varsity golf at Orange, she started taking lessons at age seven, she said. Neither of her parents plays golf, but they've always been very willing to drive her to courses when she was younger and watch her practice, FitzGerald said.
"My dad will play with me once in a while, but just for fun," she said. "It's not competitive, but that's what I've always appreciated about my parents. They've never put too much pressure on me with the sport and they're always there to support me."
FitzGerald has also started on the varsity basketball team for the Lady Lions the past three years, but she may focus on golf this winter instead, she said.
"I'm getting ready to go play college golf and I would like this winter to just work on my swing and work on my strength and flexibility," FitzGerald said.
With her mind set on majoring in neuroscience, she has been looking at Division III schools, she said.
"It's very difficult at the Division I level to major in neuroscience and play golf just because of the time commitment for both of them," Fitzgerald said. "I just like golf because it's a lot of strategy and it's a lot of thinking and I want to continue playing."
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