GOLF, IL – Ten Chicago-area high school seniors have been awarded the Evans Scholarship, a full, four-year housing and tuition college grant offered to golf caddies, following a final selection interview held at Sunset Ridge Country Club in Northfield on Nov. 9.
Each caddie has a unique story to tell, reflecting the scholarship’s four selection criteria: a strong caddie record; excellent academics; demonstrated financial need; and outstanding character. They will begin college in the fall of 2018, with awarded universities to be determined this spring. The scholarship is valued at more than $100,000 over four years.
Burke Parent, Addison, Medinah Country Club, Addison Trail High School; Andrea Coria, Chicago, Oak Park Country Club, Loyola Academy; Oscar De Leon, Chicago, Park Ridge Country Club, Saint Patrick High School; Lawrence Henderson, Chicago, Sunset Ridge Country Club, Providence St. Mel; Emilio Soto-Avitia, Chicago, Indian Hill Club, Saint Ignatius College Prep; Monika Walaszek, Des Plaines, North Shore Country Club, Maine West High School; Yuriy Melenchuk, Glenview, Sunset Ridge Country Club, Glenbrook South High School; Mairead King, Park Ridge, Park Ridge Country Club, Maine South High School; Matthew Vietzen, River Forest, Oak Park Country Club, Oak Park and River Forest High School; Joshua De La Cruz, Wood Dale, Medinah Country Club, IC Catholic Prep.
“Each of these deserving Evans Scholars epitomizes what our Program has been about since its creation in 1930,” said WGA Chairman David Robinson. “Their dedication, hard work and sacrifice is humbling, and we are honored to be able to help them pursue their dreams.”
The Sunset Ridge Country Club selection meeting was the first of more than 20 such meetings the Evans Scholars Foundation will hold across the country through the spring. When the 2017-18 selection meeting process is completed by April, an estimated 275 caddies are expected to be awarded the Evans Scholarship.
The Western Golf Association, headquartered in Golf, Illinois, has supported the Chick Evans Scholarship Program through the Evans Scholars Foundation since 1930. One of golf’s favorite charities, it is the nation’s largest scholarship program for caddies.
Currently, a record 965 caddies are enrolled in 19 universities across the nation as Evans Scholars, and more than 10,600 caddies have graduated as Evans Scholars since the program was founded by famed Chicago amateur golfer Charles “Chick” Evans Jr.
“These young men and women have worked tirelessly to earn this life-changing opportunity,” said John Kaczkowski, WGA President and CEO. “They have shown excellence in the classroom and in their communities, as well as on the golf course. We welcome them to the Evans Scholars family.”
Scholarship funds come mostly from contributions by 30,600 golfers across the country, who are members of the Evans Scholars Par Club program. Evans Scholars Alumni donate more than $10 million annually, and all proceeds from the BMW Championship, the third of four PGA TOUR Playoff events in the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup competition, are donated to the Evans Scholars Foundation.
To learn more about the WGA and ESF, visit www.wgaesf.org.
JUSTIN LEONARD HEADLINES GREEN COAT GALA
CHICAGO, Illinois (November 3, 2017) – Golf great Justin Leonard was the featured guest Friday, Nov. 3 at the Western Golf Association’s seventh annual Green Coat Gala, one of the largest annual fundraisers for the Evans Scholars Foundation.
More than 350 supporters attended the black-tie affair at The Peninsula Chicago, which was headlined by Leonard, winner of the 1997 Open Championship and a three-time member of the U.S. Ryder Cup team. All proceeds benefit the ESF, a nonprofit administered by the WGA, which provides full college tuition and housing scholarships to caddies. Currently, a record 965 Evans Scholars are attending 19 universities nationwide.
Leonard, 45, a native of Dallas, Texas, was at his best on golf’s biggest stages. He is one of only five players ever to win the prestigious Western Amateur, the U.S. Amateur and the NCAA Championship. He was similarly successful on the PGA TOUR, where he won 12 times, including at the 1997 Open Championship at Royal Troon Golf Club.
In 1999, he made one of the most famous putts in Ryder Cup history. His 45-footer for birdie on the 17th hole at the Country Club in Brookline capped an improbable comeback victory for the United States, which had trailed 10-6 heading into the final round.
At the Gala, veteran NBC/Golf Channel commentator and emcee Mark Rolfing held a “fireside chat” with Leonard, where they touched on topics including the importance of caddies to the game of golf, his Ryder Cup appearances and the game’s young stars.
The event also featured a speech by Michigan State Evans Scholar Alum Lauren Farhat. A former caddie at Meadowbrook Country Club in Northville, Michigan, Lauren shared her story of caddying with a prosthetic leg. She was born with a condition that caused her right leg to be significantly shorter than her left. When she was 7, a portion of her leg was amputated, creating the ability for her to use a prosthetic.
She recalled sitting in hospital beds as a child, worrying between multiple surgeries, about her future. “I often wondered if I was ever going to be able to do anything, if there was ever going to be anything good to come out of this. Caddying and the Evans Scholarship have given me a future and have helped me to live a part of my life that I had always hoped for.”
Past featured speakers at the Green Coat Gala have included Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and Johnny Miller.
The funds raised from the 2017 event will help send caddies to college – at a time when a record number of applicants are applying for the Evans Scholarship. The Evans Scholars Program is expanding from coast to coast, with leaders planning to have 1,000 caddies in school by the year 2020.
“The work we are doing to change the lives of bright, young students is more important ever, and we are incredibly thankful to everyone for their dedicated support of the seventh annual Green Coat Gala,” said WGA Chairman David Robinson.
The 2017 event co-chairs included Tim and Stacey Cavanagh, Mick and Karen O’Rourke, Mike and Sharyl Mackey and Bill Rogers.
LAKE FOREST, IL ... Australian Marc Leishman held off a late charge Sunday afternoon by 2011 BMW Championship winner and Olympic gold medalist Justin Rose to claim the J.K. Wadley Trophy in wire-to-wire fashion at Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest.
Leishman entered the event’s final round with a five-shot lead that seemed all but insurmountable considering the flurry of birdies the 33-year-old made during the previous three rounds. That lead dwindled to just two on the back nine Sunday as Rose, playing in the group ahead alongside Jason Day, birdied three of his first four holes after the turn.
Leishman responded by birdieing four of his last five and strolled away from Rose and the rest of the field. His 23-under par on the week tied the tournament record set by Dustin Johnson in 2016.
“It's a long week when you lead every day,” Leishman said after the round. “It takes the energy out of you. I was pretty tired last night and didn't sleep very well.
“That five-shot lead is just enough that you shouldn't get beat but not quite enough that you are out of reach.”
Rose, who started the day seven off the lead, finished runner-up.
“I worked pretty hard to get myself into it,” Rose said following the round. “I sensed from the crowd a little bit with a few holes to go that I was getting close. Leish really put in it gear there.”
Leishman’s win makes him only the third Australian ever to hoist the J.K. Wadley Trophy. Robert Allenby was the first player in 2000 at Cog Hill. Day won at Conway Farms in 2015.
With the win, Leishman moves to No. 4 in the FedExCup standings heading to next week’s TOUR Championship in Atlanta. He also is expected to jump into the top 15 in the World Golf Rankings. His victory Sunday was his second of this PGA TOUR season. The first came in March at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
“I always thought I was good enough to get into the Top 20 but, you know, thinking you're good enough to do it and doing it are different things,” he said. “I thought my game was in a good enough spot but, you know, having one win in 8 years, it's hard to imagine winning twice in one year and two big events like they were.
Lake Forest, IL – September 15, 2017…
On the second day of play at the 2017 BMW Championship, Jason Day recorded a hole-in-one, resulting in the donation of a BMW Hole-in-One Scholarship, a full, four-year scholarship worth $100,000 to the Evans Scholars Foundation. Day aced the 17th hole on Friday, September 15 at Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, IL with a 7-iron, from 188 yards.
Additionally, Day made his impressive shot on one of the two holes at the BMW Championship that awards a new BMW to the first player to make a hole-in-one. With his shot, Day also receives an all-new BMW M760i, the perfect combination of BMW performance and luxury.
In turn, Day graciously donated his new BMW to the Evans Scholars Foundation -- further supporting its mission of sending hard working caddies to college and a goal of having 1,000 caddies enrolled annually in college by 2020.
“On the TOUR we aim to give back. For BMW to give back as well and put a student through college is huge,” said Jason Day following his shot. “I’m going to donate the car to help an additional student because I am in a fortunate position, and being able to not only impact another person’s life but to also get them through college is huge as well.”
All net proceeds from the BMW Championship benefit the Evans Scholars Foundation, which provides full college scholarships to hardworking, young caddies with financial need and strong academic records. Since 2007, BMW has contributed more than $24 million to the Evans Scholars Foundation. Day’s shot marks the fifth time BMW has awarded a Hole-in-One Scholarship in a player’s name.
“Congratulations to Jason Day on his incredible shot today and his overwhelming generosity,” said Trudy Hardy, Vice President, Marketing, BMW of North America. “Being able to provide a fifth full, four-year BMW Hole-in-One Evans Scholarship to a hardworking, young caddie is extremely satisfying and we are honored to be able to provide him or her with this opportunity to attend college worry-free.”
Current Evans Scholars Anyah Akanni and Nicholas Pavlishin accepted the donation on behalf of the Evans Scholars Foundation. Later this year, BMW and the Evans Scholars Foundation will jointly award the 2017 BMW Hole-in-One Scholarship in Jason Day’s name to a student caddie who will attend college next fall.
“This generous contribution is one of many ways BMW shows its support for our mission of sending deserving young caddies to college,” said John Kaczkowski, president and CEO of the Western Golf Association and the Evans Scholars Foundation. “We’re grateful to have BMW as our title sponsor and partner, and we’re thrilled to use this donation to fund a full Evans Scholarship.”
In the 2017-2018 academic year, 965 caddies are attending 19 major universities on Evans Scholarships, and there are more than 10,600 Evans Alumni.
Lake Forest, IL ... Sept. 13, 2017 -- Evans Scholars and Alumni carried the bag for amateurs playing in the Gardner Heidrick Pro-Am, the last event before tournament play at the BMW Championship at Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, Illinois.
An estimated 100 Evans Scholars and Alumni caddied for the amateur players who were grouped with at least one PGA TOUR professional competing in this week's tournament.
Each pro was paired with three amateur players.By donating their tips, Alumni give back to the Evans Scholars Foundation. In total, the Pro-Am event is expected to raise over $1 million for the Evans Scholars Program, which provides full college scholarships to caddies who meet financial, academic and extracurricular requirements.
The day is among the single biggest one-day fundraisers of the year for the ESF.
“Evans Scholars and Alumni understand firsthand the life-changing impact of the Evans Scholarship,” says Western Golf Association President and CEO John Kaczkowski. “That’s why they return to the BMW Championship each year to volunteer their time and skills. They see their participation as a way to give back to the Foundation and help pay it forward.”
Northwestern Evans Scholar Mackenzie Lim caddied in PGA TOUR pro Brooks Koepka and hockey legend Wayne Gretzky's group.
"It was really exciting to be out here, caddying for the pros today," she said. "It’s just one of the many opportunities that has come from being an Evans Scholar, and I am extremely grateful for everything the scholarship has provided for me.”
JIM “BONES” MACKAY TO JOIN CADDIE HALL OF FAME
Longtime PGA TOUR caddie to be inducted during BMW Championship
LAKE FOREST, Illinois (September 11, 2017) – Longtime PGA TOUR caddie and NBC Sports/Golf Channel on-course reporter Jim “Bones” Mackay was inducted into The Caddie Hall of Fame on Wednesday, Sept. 14, during the 2017 BMW Championship at Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, Illinois.
A resident of Scottsdale, Arizona, Mackay is one of the most well-known caddies in the game’s history, beloved by fans around the world for his work alongside Phil Mickelson. Mackay began his career as a caddie looping for Larry Mize, Scott Simpson and Curtis Strange before being hired by Mickelson in 1992.
“This is a great honor for me,” Mackay said. “I would like to share it with all the caddies at golf clubs around the country, and also my fellow PGA TOUR caddies, with whom I had such a great time.”
With Mackay on his bag, Mickelson won five major championships, notched 41 PGA TOUR victories and represented the United States 22 consecutive times on Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup teams. Mackay joined NBC/Golf Channel as an on-course reporter in July at The Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.
“We are honored and excited to welcome Bones Mackay into The Caddie Hall of Fame,” said Vince Pellegrino, Senior Vice President of Tournaments for the Western Golf Association, which conducts the BMW Championship. “Bones has elevated the profile of caddies worldwide and inspired countless young people to want to be caddies.”
To celebrate Mackay's induction into The Caddie Hall of Fame, BMW, donated $50,000 donation to the Evans Scholars Foundation in Mackay's name to celebrate his induction into The Caddie Hall of Fame.
“BMW has been an incredible title sponsor over the past decade, and we are beyond grateful for the organization’s support of the Evans Scholars Foundation,” said John Kaczkowski, president and CEO of the Western Golf Association, which conducts the BMW Championship. “This year, we are sending a record 965 caddies to 19 leading universities nationwide, and this is possible through the generous contributions from BMW.”
Administered by the Western Golf Association since 2011, The Caddie Hall of Fame highlights the tradition and importance of caddying by recognizing individuals who have devoted their lives to the game of golf through caddying or by supporting the role of caddies.
Past inductees include Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Charles “Chick” Evans, Francis Ouimet, Gene Sarazen, Steve Williams, and the Murray Brothers.
Download 2017 Offline Enrollment Form
A strong finish to the 2017 Match Play Challenge will help the Evans Scholars Foundation give even more young caddies the life-changing opportunity of a college education.
With the help of more than 60 generous donors who have stepped up to make commitments of $50,000 and greater, the Foundation has created a matching pool of nearly $6.5 million that will be used to match all Par Club gifts of $2,500 and greater this year. The Match Play Challenge surpassed the $50 million in all-time fundraising earlier this year and has now raised almost $57 million to support caddie scholarships since 2011. The commitment and generosity of the Evans Scholars Program’s supporters has allowed the Foundation to grow at a time when the skyrocketing cost of college tuition has young caddies nationwide applying for the Evans Scholarship in record numbers.
“We are extremely grateful to our donors, whose extraordinary generosity has made this milestone possible,” said David Robinson, WGA Chairman. “The success of this annual campaign means we can commit to a bold plan for the future of the Evans Scholars Foundation.”
Developed with the leadership of WGA Director Mike Keiser in 2011, the Match Play Challenge is the major gifts component of the annual Par Club fundraising campaign. The generosity of Match Play Partners has inspired thousands of donors from coast to coast to support youth caddies. Since 2011, the Match Play Challenge has generated 342 gifts of $50,000 and greater and more than 6,500 gifts of $2,500 and greater.
These major gifts have positioned the Foundation to set aggressive goals for the near future. In addition to increasing the number of Evans Scholars in school from the record 965 enrolled in 19 leading universities this fall to 1,000 by the year 2020, the Foundation is working to establish the Evans Scholars Program at additional universities coast to coast.
At the same time, it is increasing living capacity at its Scholarship Houses to provide all Evans Scholars with the benefits of community living. That means establishing new Scholarship Houses at some partner universities and renovating existing Houses to ensure that Evans Scholars have the ideal living and learning environment.
Finally, the Foundation is expanding its continuum of support — from caddie training programs to career mentorship — to better position itself to guide young men and women from caddie, to college, to career.
As the Match Play Challenge pushes to the end of 2017, its continued success will be critical to the Foundation’s ability to reach its goals while giving young men and women the opportunity to attend college with the support they need to thrive and succeed.
“These major gifts become more important as we see the need for the Evans Scholarship grow each year,” said Bill Kingore, Senior Vice President, Development & Strategy. “We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished through the Match Play Challenge, but we understand the great responsibility we now have to expand the Evans Scholars Program to ensure we are not leaving deserving candidates behind.”
For more information on the Match Play Challenge, please contact Bill Kingore at 224-260-3712 or email@example.com.
2017 Match Play Partners
Sam & Marsha Allen
Mr. & Mrs. James H. Anderson Jr.
Jim Ashenden through the Estate of Jim Ashenden
Mike & Diane Beemer
Kenneth & Jacqueline Brody
Steve & Karis Colnitis
Glenda & Fritz Corrigan
Mr. & Mrs. Dominic Curcio
Kathy & Bill Doyle
Ray Fahrmeier, OSU ’64
Thomas J. & Karen A. Falk
Mr. & Mrs. Eugene F. Fama
Mr. & Mrs. Robert Foss
Jim & Karen Frank
Paul Frymark & Sally Metzger
Jim & Mary Garard
Tom & Taylor Gleitsman
Dan & Kathy Harmon
Jay & Kathy Heintschel
Mr. & Mrs. Daniel G. Helle
Martin P. & Julie Hughes
Mike & Lindy Keiser
King Family Foundation
J. Andrew & Susan Langan
Mr. & Mrs. Don Law
Robert M. & Diane v.S. Levy
Jack & Jama Lintol
Thomas L. Mallman
John & Jean Matovina
Gary & Carol Matula
Patrick & Meredith McCormack
Dr. & Mrs. David Monson
Thomas & Susan Moran
Frank & Susan Morley
George & Vicki Muellner
Frank & Janet Nessinger
James W. O’Neill
Dan & Vicki Pawlowski
Jim & Molly Perry
Rita & Leroy “Pete” Peterson
Bruce & Deborah Pfaff
Jim & Donna Placio
Mr. & Mrs. Frank Polizzi
Tom & Tricia Prentice Family Foundation
Kevin & Dianne Risch
Roger W. Sandstrom
Jack & Dottie Sauer
Kathleen & Jim Skinner
Tim Schwertfeger & Gail Waller
Larry & Monica Thuet
Reed & Rosemary Tupper
John Ver Bockel & Kathleen Carbonara
Daniel & Clea Van Voorhis
Darrell & Gail Voitik
Mr. & Mrs. Ben Ziolkowski