Greenwich’s McEvoy shows a drive to succeed at golf

Greenwich resident Catherine McEvoy drives the golf ball down the fairway during a recent tournament.

Greenwich resident Catherine McEvoy drives the golf ball down the fairway during a recent tournament.

While the awards and recognition are always nice to receive, Greenwich resident Catherine McEvoy plays golf because of her undying love of the sport she grew up in.

McEvoy, an upcoming sophomore at Greenwich High School, started swinging the clubs when she was seven years old and she has been dedicated to the sport ever since.

“My dad got me into golf and he played golf as well and is really good at it,” McEvoy said. “I took after him and he helped me along the way and put me first because he used to play a lot when he was younger. Now that I have tournaments, he takes me to all of them and really cares. I got a lot of support from him along the way.”

All that hard work and dedication to the sport has paid off for McEvoy. Her proudest moment to date happened not too long ago, while playing for the Greenwich High girls golf team and competing at the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference championship at Orange Hills.

“I came in with a 79 and was really happy with my score because I have never played there before but I have seen the course and played a practice round, but knew it would be difficult,” McEvoy said. “The greens were hard and you had to have a good game there on that day. I knew that I was happy with myself when I came in from the 18th hole, signed my scorecard and knew that I was a part of a team that was able to win the championship.”

Last year as a freshman, McEvoy dominated the field. In addition to helping the Lady Cards finish the regular season undefeated, Greenwich’s No. 1 golfer finished the regular season with a perfect 16-0 record in the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference. During the FCIAC championship match at Orange Hills Country Club, McEvoy shot a 5-over par 79 and was Big Red’s top finisher. In fact, her score of 79 was only one of three that cracked 90 on the day.

For her freshman season, McEvoy was a medalist 11 times as the No. 1 golfer on the GHS team.

She netted 89 pars and 12 birdies on the season. That was enough for her to be named to the All-FCIAC First Team and All-State.

In fact, McEvoy capped off her freshman season by being recognized as the FCIAC Player of the Year, as well as the Connecticut State Player of the Year awarded by the Connecticut High School Coach’s Association.

For McEvoy, just being a part of a championship-caliber team is a thrill.

“It’s fun,” McEvoy said. “Just being able to play with one other person in matches and such is fun. It’s also great knowing that if you have a bad round, you can count on your teammates to hopefully pull through and help out. Everybody is there and it’s a lot of fun. I hope everybody can improve over the summer so we can do as well as we did last year and maybe a little better. I know everybody is going to put a lot of work in to get better.”

Just before school let out for the summer, McEvoy represented GHS at the Counsil of New England Secondary School Principal’s Association Championships, located at Bretwood Golf Course in Keene, N.H. and shot the second lowest score in the field, netting a 76.

So far this summer, McEvoy has been quite busy.

She’s competed in the Lincoln Women’s Met Open Championships and finished as the seventh low amateur and placed 23rd overall. This marked the third consecutive season that she made the cut at the event.

At the Met PGA Junior Inter City Team tournament, McEvoy was the youngest athlete selected for the event and she didn’t disappoint. During the two-day tournament at the Saucon Valley Country Club in Bethlehem, Pa., McEvoy won 5.5 out of a possible 6.0 and helped her team net top honors.

McEvoy’s greatest accomplishment this summer was during the 2013 United States Golf Association Girls Junior Gold Championship, held at Fairfield’s Brooklawn Country Club. Her score of 7-over par 79 was good enough to earn an alternative spot for the championship to be played at the Sycamore Hills Golf Club in Fort Wayne, Ind.

“The distance was long and it was difficult, but I made it as an alternate for Indiana and am going to head out there and see if I get lucky and get in,” McEvoy said.

While a lot of high school students are enjoying their time at the beach soaking up the sun or traveling on vacation with friends, McEvoy can be found almost every day at the golf course, whether it’s practicing at her home course at the Innis Arden Golf Club or competing in one- or two-day tournaments.

McEvoy gives herself one day off every week to recover.

All that work has helped McEvoy improve on her course management, as well as trying to make sure that she is in a better position if she’s in a bad spot on a hole.

“I have also improved on keeping my numbers as low as possible,” McEvoy said. “Last year I knew that it was a struggle for me to stay away from big numbers, but this year I have definitely seen improvement on knowing when I am in trouble and how to get out of it and recover.”

While McEvoy has been enjoying her performance on the golf course, she knows that practice makes perfect.

“I need to work on keeping my attitude up,” McEvoy said. “I need to know that if I play a bad hole, I could regroup and recover and that anything is possible. I am able to do that a lot better now. I played in the Met Open recently and had one bad hole, but I came back great. I knew that I could recover. It’s all about the determination and telling myself that I can do better.”

McEvoy, who is determined to play Division I golf at college in the near future, dreams about one day playing on the PGA Tour.

However, her biggest dream right now would be to make another USGA event.

“Those are the biggest events to make” McEvoy said. “For me, to make one of those events, even if I am not on the tour, would really make me happy and how much I’ve accomplished along the way.”

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