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Northfield, Illinois (Aug. 4, 2018) ... Cole Hammer, of Houston, Texas, never doubted Saturday he would win the 116th Western Amateur at Sunset Ridge Country Club.

Neither did Davis Riley, of Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

The difference was Hammer, the tournament co-medalist, was the frontrunner nearly the entire championship match and was able to hold off Riley’s late charge to hoist the George R. Thorne Trophy. He’s the sixth 18-year-old champion, joining a group that includes 14-time major champion Tiger Woods and last year’s winner Norman Xiong.

“Surreal,” said Hammer, whose mother, Allison, served as his caddie all week. “Biggest day in my golf career, no question.”

A freshman at Texas, Hammer took the lead with a birdie at No. 3 and carried a 4-up advantage into the second nine. Riley won his first hole at No. 11 with a par, and then he went on a run. He trailed 1 down after his fourth birdie on the back nine on No. 16.

On the par-3 17th, Riley went first and hit it to 10 feet. Hammer also hit the green, but he was farther away. After Hammer missed his birdie putt, Riley’s match-tying effort slid past the hole.

The match ended when the two tied with pars on No. 18.

Even as Hammer’s lead shrunk, he remained confident in his chances. He called his 12-foot birdie putt on No. 13 that kept him 2 up a “huge momentum putt.”

“It gave me a big enough cushion, barely, to get it done,” he said.

Despite being down by as many as four holes on the first nine and three with four to play, Riley, a senior at Alabama, never counted himself out Saturday.

“I had faith in what I was doing,” he said. “I stayed patient, and I was good enough to make a charge. I knew I could do it. I hit some good shots and made some birdies.”

According to Riley, the momentum was on his side after his tee shot on No. 17, even though he was 1 down after 16 holes.

“I hit that shot, and anybody would get a little nervous,” he said. “If I could have made that putt, I was going to win it.”

Hammer’s 76 holes in four rounds of match play tied the record with Justin Leonard (1992) and David Chung (2010) for most holes played. He becomes the second consecutive player to earn medalist honors and win the overall title. Sam Stevens, of Wichita, Kansas, tied Hammer for medalist honors to qualify for the Sweet 16 before losing in the first round.

Five other Texas Longhorns have won the Western Amateur, including major champions Ben Crenshaw and Leonard. Beau Hossler was the most recent, winning the title in 2014 at Beverly Country Club in Chicago, Illinois. Doug Ghim, another Longhorn, was the medalist that year.

“It was a really special week from start to finish,” Hammer said.

Both Hammer and Riley will compete in the U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California, on Aug. 13-19.

Golf, IL – (July 29, 2018)
– Peter Ueberroth, the former commissioner of Major League Baseball, was inducted into The Caddie Hall of Fame on Sunday in recognition of the years he spent working as a caddie at Sunset Ridge Country Club in Northfield, Illinois.

Ueberroth, a native of Evanston, Illinois, returned to the Chicago area this weekend to attend a dinner at his former home club, where he was honored with induction into The Caddie Hall of Fame and presented with a bronze caddie statuette.

“Peter Ueberroth’s time here as a caddie at Sunset Ridge was the first step in an illustrious career that has spanned the worlds of business and sport,” said WGA Chairman Frank Morley. “His contributions to the game of golf will have a lasting effect, and his professional achievements serve as an inspiration to young caddies working at golf courses nationwide.”

Ueberroth arrived at Sunset Ridge as an eighth grader in 1952, and began working for legendary caddie manager and fellow Caddie Hall of Fame inductee Tony Batistello. He later was awarded a water polo scholarship to attend San Jose State University.

At the age of 27, Ueberroth founded First Travel Corporation, which, when he sold it 18 years later, was the second-largest travel business in North America.

Ueberroth then served as President of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee, an organization responsible for staging and operating the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

Later that year, Ueberroth became the sixth commissioner of Major League Baseball, a position he held until 1989. He also served as the Chairman of the United States Olympic Committee, and successfully orchestrated the purchase of the Pebble Beach Company in 1999.

“There’s no better job for a young person than caddying,” Ueberroth said. “You get to meet successful people, you get to watch them struggle and see how they handle adversity and you learn a game you can play the rest of your life. I recommend caddying to any young person who has the opportunity.”

Administered by the Western Golf Association since 2011, The Caddie Hall of Fame highlights the tradition of caddying by recognizing individuals who have used their caddie experiences as a steppingstone for future success, have devoted their lives to the game of golf through caddying or have supported the role of caddies.

Past inductees include Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Charles “Chick” Evans, Francis Ouimet, Steve Williams, Jim “Bones” Mackay, and the Murray Brothers.

GOLF, Ill. (Wednesday, July 25) – The excitement and drama of the storied Western Amateur championship will be streamed live for the first time ever on Golf Channel’s digital platforms and on other online platforms, the Western Golf Association announced today.

Beginning with the Sweet 16 match play competition, the WGA will provide an expected 12 hours of live streaming coverage on Friday, Aug. 3 and Saturday, Aug. 4, bringing the action of golf’s third-oldest amateur championship into the homes of fans worldwide. The stream will be available at, the Golf Channel mobile app and

“This is a significant step forward for us in showcasing our amateur championship and the world’s top amateurs who annually compete for the coveted title,” said John Kaczkowski, WGA President and CEO. “We’ve watched Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson and many more compete in the Western Amateur. Now, golf fans everywhere will be able to watch golf’s future stars face off against one another in golf’s most rigorous test.”

Live streaming of the 116th Western Amateur will run from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. CT on Friday, Aug. 3, covering the finish of the eight Sweet 16 matches. The quarterfinal matches will be live streamed from 3-6 p.m. CT. On Saturday, Aug. 4, coverage of the semifinal matches will run from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m., CT followed by a live stream of the championship match, with a tentative starting time of 1 p.m. CT through the conclusion of play.

Live coverage will be supported by interviews, championship highlights and features on the rich history of the Western Golf Association, Western Amateur and Sunset Ridge Country Club. The WGA is working with Thaler Media in Palm Beach, Florida, to produce the two days of live coverage as well as pre-produced content and social media interaction with golf fans. David Marr III and Scott Walker will call the action at the Western Amateur.

“We’re looking forward to providing golf fans with a professional, broadcast-quality production that will showcase the skills of our international field of top amateur golfers,” said Vince Pellegrino, WGA’s Senior Vice President of Tournaments.

The Western Amateur again will be played on Chicago’s North Shore, at Sunset Ridge Country Club in Northfield, Illinois, from July 30-Aug. 4. Competition includes 18-hole stroke play rounds on Tuesday and Wednesday followed by a cut to the players with the low 44 scores and ties. Those who make the cut play 36 holes of stroke play on Thursday, with the low 16 advancing to match play.

Founded in 1899, the Western Amateur is the world’s third-oldest amateur championship behind the British Amateur (1885) and the U.S. Amateur (1895), and regularly attracts the top amateur players from across the country and around the world. Past champions include Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods.

The 2018 Western Amateur will feature a stacked field led by Braden Thornberry, the No. 1 ranked amateur in the world. An All-American from Ole Miss, he won the 2017 NCAA Division I individual championship and recently tied for fourth in the FedEx St. Jude Classic in Memphis.

The field also includes Cal All-American and 2017 U.S. Walker Cup team member Collin Morikawa; 2017 Western Amateur quarterfinalist and 2016 U.S. Junior champion Min Woo Lee of Australia; Texas A&M standout and 2018 All-SEC selection Chandler Phillips; Oklahoma star and 2017 Western Amateur Sweet 16 qualifier Brad Dalke; Florida Gator and 2018 SEC Championship winner Andy Zhang; and 2018 Master of the Amateurs champion David Micheluzzi of Australia.


GOLF, Ill. – An Evans Scholar graduate from Ohio State University received the top individual honor awarded by the Evans Scholars Foundation at the Program’s annual Summer Outing banquet on June 25 at Olympia Fields Country Club in Olympia Fields, Illinois.

Ohio State University Evans Scholar Sam Maciejewski was named the 2018 Evans Scholar of the Year, the top honor a student can receive within the Evans Scholars Program.

Along with this individual award, the Northwestern University Evans Scholars were recognized for achieving a cumulative 3.5 GPA for the 2017-18 school year, the highest cumulative GPA across the Program’s 19 chapters. Each of the Foundation’s chapters earned a cumulative GPA above 3.0.

The Evans Scholars Program, which has been run by the Western Golf Association since its founding in 1930, is among the nation’s largest privately-funded scholarship programs. This past year, more than 965 caddies were enrolled as Evans Scholars in 19 leading universities across the nation, and more than 10,800 caddies have graduated as Evans Scholars since the Program began.

Evans Scholars are caddies who have earned a full tuition and housing grant based on their strong caddie record, excellent academics, financial need and outstanding character. Most Scholars attend one of 14 universities across the nation where the Evans Scholars Foundation operates a Scholarship House.

“This year’s winners have shown outstanding leadership both in the classroom and on their campuses,” said WGA President and CEO John Kaczkowski. “We are truly proud of all of them. Their hard work and dedication serves as an inspiration for other students.”

Evans Scholar of the Year

Sam Maciejewski was named the 2018 Evans Scholar of the Year, the most prestigious title a student can earn within the Evans Scholars Program. From Cincinnati, Ohio, Maciejewski caddied at Maketewah Country Club in Cincinnati. He graduated in May from Ohio State University with a 3.2 cumulative GPA and a degree in pharmaceutical sciences. During his time as an Evans Scholar at Ohio State, Maciejewski was elected as chapter president for two terms and was appointed president of the Evans Scholars National Committee, where he implemented national Evans Scholars programs such as an Evans Scholars Day of Service and a mental health awareness initiative. He received multiple Program honors, including the Harold F. Ames Leadership Award and the Thomas R. Binzer Award, which is presented to the top senior Evans Scholar from southwest Ohio. Maciejewski worked within the WGA Caddie Academy for boys last summer as a counselor, and now works full-time for the Evans Scholars Foundation in Golf, Illinois, as a manager of education and Caddie Academies.

Of the Evans Scholarship, Maciejewski says, “Within the time I lived in the Scholarship House and attended Ohio State, I discovered that the Evans Scholarship is way more than I had ever anticipated. Because of the Evans Scholarship, I had the opportunity to attend the great Ohio State University, live in a beautiful house, and find some of my best friends – all while not having to be constantly concerned about being hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. I am forever grateful.”

James E. Moore Scholarship Trophy

The Evans Scholars from Northwestern University earned a 3.5 cumulative GPA for the 2017-18 school year and were awarded the James E. Moore Scholarship Trophy for academic excellence. The trophy, given annually since 1962, honors Evans Scholarship chapter that earns the highest cumulative GPA for the previous school year. In addition, each of the Foundation’s 19 chapters earned a cumulative GPA above 3.0. All received a plaque honoring their academic achievement at the banquet.


SKOKIE, Illinois (June 21, 2018) ... 
Jeff Doty, of Carmel, Indiana, wasn’t feeling good about his game leading up to the 101st Western Junior.

But something clicked while working on it at home, and he found his form at the 6,793-yard, par-70 Evanston Golf Club to win the country’s oldest junior golf championship.

After heavy rain forced tournament officials to cancel Thursday’s final two rounds, Doty earned the title by virtue of his 36-hole lead. An incoming sophomore at North Florida, he carded rounds of 69-64 to finish 7 under and clip Karl Vilips, of Perth, Australia, by one stroke.

“This is No. 1 for me,” Doty said when asked where the Western Junior ranks among his accomplishments. “This is the top of the line.”

Doty said he was looking forward to a difficult day on the golf course and never considered the tournament might be shortened. All the groups played at least three holes before the third round was suspended at 9:14 a.m. Officials called it quits at 4:45 p.m.

“I like hard conditions, and I thought the challenge will be good,” he said. “Canceling the day doesn’t really cross your mind.”

A win Thursday would have raised the already high profile of Vilips, a Stanford verbal commit who entered the week as the No. 1 player in the AJGA Rolex Rankings. Instead, Vilips, who shot 66-68, had to settle for his second runner-up finish in a row at the Western Junior.

Doty joins an elite list of Western Junior winners that features PGA Tour stars Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk and Hunter Mahan. Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Matt Kuchar are past participants of the tournament.

Other highlights this week included Will Thomson, of Naples, Florida, establishing the amateur competitive course record with a 7-under 63 on Wednesday, and Jake Beber-Frankel, of Miami, Florida, hitting a hole-in-one on the 202-yard, par-3 fourth during the second round.

The win earned Doty an exemption into the Western Amateur, which will be contested July 30-August 4 at Sunset Ridge Country Club in Northfield, Illinois. Vilips also is in the field.

- Matt Harness/WGA 

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Dearborn Country Club caddies to attend Michigan State on coveted college scholarships

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New York Caddie Receives Full Ride To Miami

Caddying provides full-ride scholarship to KU for state wrestling champ

Being the bag man pays off with college scholarship for Utah senior

Nic Florek's love of caddying pays off with scholarship to Penn State

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Cathedral senior Elle Darnell earns full ride to Purdue through caddying

Scholarship makes Medinah caddie Parent 'extremely fortunate'

Josh Steele earns scholarship to Ohio State through caddying

Cape Cod golfer Holden Elletson selected for scholarship

Connecticut caddie receives full WGA scholarship

From caddie to college: Wisconsin senior wins prestigious scholarship

Kansas City caddie receives full ride scholarship to college

Portland-area students win full ride to college with caddying scholarship

Long days and loads of dedication help Kansas caddie win college scholarship

Park City teen becomes first Utahn awarded Evans Scholarship for caddies

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The Evans Scholars Foundation’s 2018 Match Play Challenge is in full swing as supporters continue to lead in providing the life-changing opportunity of a college education. Momentum is building with 36 Match Play Partners making gifts of $50,000 and greater since the campaign launched last month.

These gifts will be pooled and used to match the gifts of $2,500 and greater the Foundation receives in 2018.

Since its inception in 2011, the Match Play Challenge has helped the Foundation provide more caddies with the life-changing opportunity of a college education. The success of this initiative is more critical than ever in 2018, as families across the country struggle to meet the rising cost of college tuition. Young men and women nationwide apply for the Evans Scholarship in record numbers each year, with 790 applying in 2017 alone.

Last year’s Match Play Challenge raised nearly $14 million, helping the Foundation offset annual scholarship costs that reached $20 million for the record 965 Evans Scholars in school for the 2017-18 academic year. The Foundation’s scholarship costs are projected to rise by $1.5 million each year as it pursues the Western Golf Association Board of Governors’ plan to grow the number of Scholars in school to 1,000, living in community, by 2020.

“We are incredibly thankful to all of our supporters who have contributed to the Match Play Challenge,” said WGA Chairman Frank Morley. “They are an inspiration, and the continued success of these efforts is important to ensuring that we help send as many qualified caddies to college as possible.”

WGA Director Mike Keiser, who led the development of the Match Play Challenge in 2011, is again serving as the campaign’s Honorary Chair in 2018. The sustained success of this initiative will help the Foundation achieve the bold goals it has set for the near future.

Those goals include establishing the Evans Scholars Program at additional universities, providing community living opportunities for all Scholars and developing a full continuum of support that will include everything from caddie training programs to career mentorship.

“For our goals to be reached, it is essential to continue to raise more tuition dollars through these major gifts,” said Bill Kingore, Senior Vice President, Development & Strategy. “Our Evans Scholars are succeeding in the classroom and achieving at the highest level. It is our privilege to help these deserving young men and women, and we are determined to work to help more caddies receive a high-quality college education.”


For more information on the Match Play Challenge, please contact Bill Kingore at 224-260-3712 or

2018 Match Play Partners

Anonymous (2)
Sam & Marsha Allen
Mike & Diane Beemer
Kenneth & Jacqueline Brody
Steve & Karis Colnitis
Glenda & Fritz Corrigan
Mr. & Mrs. Dominic Curcio
Dresner Foundation
Craig J. Duchossois
Thomas J. & Karen A. Falk
Dr. & Mrs. Eugene Fama
Tom & Taylor Gleitsman
Dan & Kathy Harmon
Jack Holland
Mike & Lindy Keiser
Jason & Peggy Kinander
Jack & Jama Lintol
John & Jean Matovina
Patrick & Meredith McCormack
Francis W. & Susan B. Morley
George & Vicki Muellner
Frank & Janet Nessinger
Jim & Molly Perry
Rita & Leroy “Pete” Peterson
Mary Petrovich
Bruce & Deborah Pfaff
The Frank Polizzi Family
Quest Foundation
Therese & John Rigas
Martin Snitzer
Larry & Monica Thuet
Reed & Rosemary Tupper
Daniel & Clea Van Voorhis
John P. Ver Bockel & Kathleen Carbonara
Bill & Tracey Wheeler

*As of 06/21/2018


Cole Hammer wins 2018 Western Amateur

Peter Ueberroth inducted into Caddie Hall of Fame

Golf Channel to live stream 2018 Western Amateur

Sam Maciejewski named Scholar of the Year

Jeff Doty wins 2018 Western Junior

New Scholars featured in local media

ESF launches 2018 Match Play Challenge