by Karen Sangillo
It’s been an exciting summer for golfer Patrick Sheehan. The Doylestown resident competed in the U.S. Amateur Open, held at the Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, N.J. August 15th-21st.
“It started off really well,” said Patrick, a 2019 graduate of Central Bucks East. “I played really great the first day. I had a really good back nine and I felt good going into Stage 2 at Ridgewood. I just had a bad mistake and that made me miss out on match play.”
He ended the tourney with a seven-over-par 148.
“I would say that’s the biggest event I’ve played in,” he said.
He also competed in the Southern Amateur Championship, hosted by Sea Island Golf Club in St. Simons Island, Georgia, in July, finishing with a score of 283, one under par. His interest in the sport began at a young age.
“I’ve been golfing since I was about six-years-old,” he said. “I liked watching it on TV when I was younger, so I guess I just wanted to give it a try. My father golfed, but he never pushed it on me.”
He is currently studying supply chain management at Penn State, where he is a member of the golf team. Because of COVID, there was no golf season his freshman year, so Patrick has two remaining years of collegiate eligibility.
“I would like to go pro after college,” he said. “Having two more years of eligibility gives me more time to work on things so I’m going to just have to wait and see after those two years which path I’ll take. I really haven’t thought about it too much. It depends on how I play; that’s how I’ll make the decision.
“Right now, I just want to stay in the moment and try to get better.”
Last season, he was an NCAA Regionals qualifier as an individual, a Golf Coaches Association of America All-Northeast Region selection, as well as a second team All-Big Ten choice and a Big Ten Sportsmanship Award honoree. He enters the upcoming season with a 71.24 career stroke average.
He led the Nittany Lions with a 70.94 stroke average through 36 rounds, had six top-10 finishes and nine top-15 finishes for the season.
“One of the big things about coming into college from high school is that it really is a team sport, more than it is in high school,” he said. “It’s a team sport in high school, but it’s not the same. The guys on a college team really rely on you. In college, five guys play and you count four scores. If one guy doesn’t have a good day, that definitely puts the pressure on everyone else.
“You’re playing for your school and you’re playing for your teammates. For me, that was the biggest change going into college but you get used to it, and I embrace it. I like having my teammates rely on me and me on them. Once I graduate, I won’t have that team atmosphere anymore, so I want to enjoy it while I have it.
“I’m really looking forward to getting back into the swing of things. College tournaments are a lot of fun, but they’re hard, too.”
Patrick had a standout junior career, shooting a 143 to win the 2018 Philadelphia Boys Junior PGA championship at Springhaven Club in Wallingford, and competed at the Junior PGA championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky.
He recorded the lowest rounds for his Pennsylvania team in the 2018 Williamson Cup competition, contributed to the 2017 Philadelphia Junior PGA win as a Pritsch Cup Captains pick, took third place in the 2017 Golf Association of Pennsylvania Junior Boys Championship and twice competed as a North America Cup member.
He was named a ‘Player on the Rise’ in the spring 2019 edition of Golf Association of Pennsylvania Magazine. He was a four-year letter winner at CB East, where he was the team MVP three times and a two-time captain. In his senior year, he won a three-way playoff to capture the District One Class 3A championship, and finished third at the PIAA tournament. He also qualified for the Eastern Regional tournament in 2018.