Students to begin college this fall as Evans Scholars

GLENVIEW, Ill. – Two students from British Columbia, Canada, have been awarded the Evans Scholarship, a prestigious full housing and tuition grant offered to golf caddies, following an online selection interview held Feb. 17.

Evans Scholars are chosen based on showing a strong caddie record, excellent academics, financial need and outstanding character. The Evans Scholarship is valued at an estimated $120,000 over four years.

Phoenix Kriese of Esquimalt caddied at Victoria Golf Club and is in Grade 12 at Esquimalt High School. This fall, she’ll attend the University of Washington as an Evans Scholar where she plans to study history.

Through caddying, Phoenix was able to put valuable life skills into action. “While I first learned the value of hard work and dedication at home, it was on the golf course where I proved to myself that I embody those values,” she said. “It was at the club that I furthered my communication and time management skills that have served as a foundation for my success.”

Alexandra Namuco of Victoria caddied at Victoria Golf Club and is in Grade 12 at Victoria High School. This fall, she’ll attend the University of Washington as an Evans Scholar, where she will study visual communication design.

Alexandra credits caddying as being a life-changing experience. “It has transformed me, from being quiet and timid to someone with confidence and character,” she said. “The players I interacted with over the years greatly contributed to my growth.”

“With the constant, incredible support from Victoria Golf Club staff and members, these wonderful girls have regularly accepted the constructive prompts and encouragement from parents and their schools while on the journey to earning the Evans Scholarship,” said WGA Director and VGC member Berne Neufeld. “So many dynamics are ingredients that lead to success in the Evans Program, but without the caddies’ grit and determination, it doesn’t happen. We are so proud of Phoenix and Alexandra, whose hard work and persistence truly paid off.”

WGA Director and VCG member Jenny Dobell said the club has seen an enormous transformation since both young women began caddying. “They came to the club as girls but are leaving as determined, confident young women with a bright and exciting future ahead of them,” she said. “We are extremely proud of them.”

The selection meeting held via Zoom was one of more than 20 such meetings the Evans Scholars Foundation is holding virtually across the country through the spring. When the 2020-21 selection meeting process is completed by April, 300 caddies nationwide are expected to be awarded the Evans Scholarship.

“Both of these deserving young women epitomize what our Program has been about since its creation in 1930,” said WGA Chairman Kevin Buggy. “Their dedication, hard work and sacrifice is humbling, and we are honored to be able to help them pursue their dreams.”

The Western Golf Association, headquartered in Glenview, 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 1,045 caddies are enrolled in 19 universities across the nation as Evans Scholars, and more than 11,320 caddies have graduated as Evans Scholars since the program was founded by famed Chicago amateur golfer Charles “Chick” Evans Jr.

Scholarship funds come mostly from contributions by 32,500 golfers across the country, who are members of the Evans Scholars Par Club program. Evans Scholars Alumni donate more than $15 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. In 2021, the BMW Championship will be held at Caves Valley Golf Club from Aug. 23-29.