It is often said that opposites attract. For Norwalk's Tommy McDonagh, it was those differences that attracted him to Penn State University.
"Part of the reason I went to State College was that I wanted a change in atmosphere," says McDonagh. "It is a lot slower moving. People are more patient."
McDonagh recently completed his season at Penn State with a 53rd place finish in the Big 10 championships. McDonagh shot 77 in the final round, his best total in the 72-hole event.
Although McDonagh walked onto Penn State's campus four years ago, he did not graduate this spring. Instead, he will return to State College, Pa., next fall to compete in his redshirt senior season as a member of the men's golf team and boost his athletic resume.
McDonagh says he will return home this summer and use Norwalk as a home base as travels around the country, competing in amateur golf tournaments.
"Norwalk is a very tight-knit community," he says. "Everybody knows everybody. Everybody is supporting."
McDonagh, who attended St. Luke's and previously lived in Wilton, made a name for himself early on when he won the 2006 Connecticut and Met Amateurs. He has continued to shine, especially in summer events. Last year, he qualified for the U.S. Amateur for the third time and advanced to the semifinals of the Met Amateur.
McDonagh says he hopes to compete professionally upon graduation, but he understands the importance of preparing himself off the course. "I knew afterward, depending on what happened with my future, the [Penn State] alumni association is very involved," he says.
An economics major, McDonagh says he is interested in trading and financial advising. If he opts to work to in finance, he says he will have to look no further than Norwalk for job opportunities.
"I know I have a lot of connections just being from here, and the whole Connecticut area has a lot of connections with Wall Street. If things do not go well, hopefully I can use those to my advantage in the future."
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