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HomeEducationHernando High Golfer Signs to Play for Piedmont University

Hernando High Golfer Signs to Play for Piedmont University

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In his sophomore year at Hernando High, Senior Connor Fahey received a rare and disturbing diagnosis. Doctors found a chondroblastoma (bone tumor) in his ankle that left his parents unsure as to whether he would ever be able to walk properly again. Connor’s father, Dennis, thanked God that Moffitt Cancer Center was able to remove the tumor without any complications. The process only “cost [Connor] six months on the golf course” and “hardened his resolve,” said Dennis Fahey.

Tuesday morning was the exact opposite for the best reasons. Connor was surrounded by friends and family as he officially signed his letter of intent to play for Piedmont University. He accepted the offer from the Georgia-based college over the weekend before putting pen to paper earlier this week. In addition to playing, the student-athlete will be attending Piedmont to study business. As his family owns several companies, the senior is looking to run one of the family businesses if he does not go on to have a professional golfing career. Fahey played four years of varsity for Head Coach Kevin Bittinger and the Leopards and has been on the honor roll all four of those years.

“It is definitely a really special day,” Connor said. “After all the work – five-six years of constant work – just kind of means a lot to me to be able to know I have somewhere to play for college. Just shows all the work paid off.”

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Connor Fahey (middle) poses for a photo with his father, Dennis (right), and mother, Jennifer (left), during Tuesday’s signing ceremony. [Credit: A. Szempruch]
Connor Fahey (middle) poses for a photo with his father, Dennis (right), and mother, Jennifer (left), during Tuesday’s signing ceremony. [Credit: A. Szempruch]
The younger Fahey formally committed to a Lions team that is not only the reigning Division Three runner-up but has the current Division Three men’s individual champion on board. While he will be entering a situation with stiff competition, Coach Bittinger feels there is a specific reason why Connor will have a successful career at the next level: his approach to the game.

“He never wavers from his own expectation,” Connor’s coach said. “He sticks with that bad shot, good shot. The one thing I probably love about Connor the most is he could be putting for an eagle or putting for a double bogey and it is the same approach. That never changes. I think that is going to carry him a long way, but he is definitely going to be missed next year.”

According to his father, Connor began golfing competitively at around 12 years old and practices or plays at least six days a week across the state of Florida. Coming into his senior year, Connor knew he would need to have the best academic and athletic year of his life. That is just what he did. He maintained his placement in the honor roll while finishing ranked 35 out of 2000-plus athletes in the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour.

“He has just been a leader and a valuable member of the team since day one,” Coach Bittinger said. “I was just talking to his dad how his freshman year, his mental approach was so much stronger than even juniors or seniors on the team that he was playing number one for us just because he has always had that ability to play his own game and keep within himself. So, I am super proud of him for this. He deserves it. He has definitely put in the work.”

His coaches and family have been a tremendous help to the athlete as well as his long-term girlfriend, Marissa Pettry. Herself a member of Hernando’s varsity cheerleading squad, she has also been dedicated to her craft and her studies. Connor’s father believes this has helped the athlete as Connor has never had a single disciplinary issue throughout his entire school career.

“It is definitely [thanks to] my parents for paying for everything because it was pretty expensive,” said Connor. “Then, all my different coaches helped me out: my mental coach, my swing coach, person who fit me for all my clubs, then definitely my girlfriend for being supportive, just everyone around me.”

Connor Fahey (left) and Hernando Golf Coach Kevin Bittinger (right) pose for a picture during Connor’s signing ceremony on Tuesday, March 19. [Credit: A. Szempruch]
Connor Fahey (left) and Hernando Golf Coach Kevin Bittinger (right) pose for a picture during Connor’s signing ceremony on Tuesday, March 19. [Credit: A. Szempruch]

Austyn Szempruch
Austyn Szempruch
Austyn Szempruch is a Graduate with Distinction, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications. He's written numerous articles reporting on Florida Gators football, basketball, and soccer teams; the sports of rugby, basketball, professional baseball, hockey, and the NFL Draft. Prior to Hernando Sun he was a contributor to ESPN, Gainesville, FL and Gator Country Multimedia, Inc. in Gainesville, FL, and Stadium Gale.
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