Golfer set to play at Rolex Tournament of Champions in Florida

By:  , Thursday, November 21, 2019, TRIB-LIVE

Fox Chapel golfer Scott Bitar is headed south.

Bitar will play in the Rolex Tournament of Champions, one of the most prestigious events in junior golf, starting Saturday at the PGA National Resort and Spa’s Champion and Fazio courses in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

The 2019 WPIAL Class AAA champion earned the opportunity to play in the tournament when he was named to the 2019 American Junior Golf Association Scholastic Junior All-America team. Only 24 golfers were selected.

“It was definitely a big honor, and I felt really lucky to get that opportunity,” Bitar said. “The best part about it though is the opportunity to play in the tournament. It’s pretty awesome.”

According to the AJGA website, Bitar has a 4.48 GPA, is a National Honor Society member, is an active member of St. Joseph’s parish and is the captain of the golf team. To be eligible for the AJGA Scholastic Junior All-America Team, applicants must be high school juniors or seniors with a top finish in an AJGA open or invitational event.

Bitar was the only Pennsylvania golfer selected this year and is the state’s first since Brain Isztwan from Huntingdon Valley in 2017. He is also the first Pittsburgh-area golfer selected since Shady Side Academy’s Benjamin Cohen in 2007.

The Rolex Tournament of Champions is a four-day tournament with a field size of 144 golfers between the ages of 12-19.

It’s the first four-day tournament that Bitar will play. While he previously played on the Fazio course with his dad, he never has played on the Champion course. So, he’s looking forward to the opportunity.

“I’m extremely excited,” Bitar said. “It’s probably the most excited I’ve been to play in a tournament before. I mean the weather is bad here, and I get to go down to Florida and stuff. I wouldn’t have had this opportunity if I didn’t get invited, so it’s pretty cool.”

Bitar had quite the senior season at Fox Chapel. First, he became the third Fox Chapel golfer since 2014 to capture the WPIAL individual title. Then, he helped his team win WPIAL and PIAA team titles.

Fox Chapel’s PIAA Class AAA title was the first in school history and the WPIAL title was the fifth, but its first since 2006.

Bitar was happy with how it ended.

“It really couldn’t have gone any better team-wise,” Bitar said. “Then, obviously winning the WPIAL was awesome. I think it went great, I think I got better throughout the season and I think we had a great ending as a team.”

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at gmacafee@tribweb.com or via Twitter