Women’s golf team headed to its first NCAA Tournament in program history
Mikayla Fitzpatrick, a junior from Phoenix was first introduced to golf at the age of 8.
More than a decade later, she secured an individual title at the 2019 Big East Championship, securing the Musketeers’ first Big East title and a spot in the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament.
As a team, Xavier shot a 306, which was six strokes ahead of the second-place Georgetown.
Fitzpatrick claimed the individual title in the lead by nine strokes while shooting a 216 (E).
She credits her father for getting her into the sport seriously and encouraging her to play in junior tournaments starting at the age of 12.
“Though I tried different sports as a kid, around age 13 or 14 I set a goal for myself to play college golf,” she said.
Fitzpatrick attended high school at Xavier College Preparatory School (XCP) in Phoenix, a women’s golf powerhouse that has captured 31 Arizona state championships since 1974. During her four years at XCP, Fitzpatrick and the girl’s team never lost a single event and won every state championship.
She was named Junior Golf Association of Arizona Player of the Year in the girl’s championship division in 2014, recording 13 top-10 finishes and three wins.
“I really wanted to play college golf somewhere close to home and somewhere that had warm weather. I kind of was unsure about Xavier, but the coach came to one of my tournaments (and) offered me a spot,” she said. “Then I visited the campus, fell in love with Xavier and committed a week later. It all happened pretty fast, in the span of one month probably.”
Fitzpatrick is academically a senior but athletically a junior. In May, she will graduate with a degree in Business Analytics after three years, and she will continue her Xavier golf career next fall as a graduate student working towards an MBA.
Fitzpatrick, who has emerged as a leader on the team, believes that this team is one of the best that the women’s golf program has had and is the best Xavier team that she has played on. The team won four events throughout the season, one in the fall and three in the spring — including the Big East Championship.
Fitzpatrick was named Big East Golfer of the Week on April 4, capturing the honor for the second time this season.
She averaged a score of 73.73 per round in the 2018-2019 regular season.
Off the course, Fitzpatrick enjoys writing poetry and reading in her free time. She also enjoys baking when she gets the chance, something that her friends and teammates enjoy as well.
Fitzpatrick’s dual dedication to both academics and golf extends well beyond the school year.
In the summertime, Fitzpatrick returns to Arizona to take summer classes and focus on golf. She plays in tournaments in Arizona and works with a coach in California a few weeks during the summer.
Last summer, she embarked on a study abroad trip to London, where she took classes in Kensington and traveled to the land of her ancestors, Ireland.
After the term was over, Fitzpatrick stayed in London an extra two weeks to work as a volunteer for the Institute of Business Ethics.
She enjoys watching all Xavier sports as well as Arizona State, when they are not playing Xavier.
Fitzpatrick is an avid fan of two of her hometown teams, the Arizona Cardinals and the Phoenix Suns.
After her time at Xavier, Fitzpatrick says she is interested in working in the business analytics side of the golf industry.
Her goal, however, is to turn pro after college. If she continues to shoot low scores, perhaps she could appear on a professional tour in the next few years.
For now, though, Fitzpatrick will have the opportunity to compete in the regionals of the NCAA Tournament, which is scheduled for May 6-8.
By: Michael Rauber | Staff Writer