Barracuda Championship Golf

WINNER: Collin Morikawa, right, is greeted on the 18th green by officials after winning the Barracuda Championship in Reno, Nev., on July 28.

Recent golf players who left college to turn professional have been big news this year on the PGA Tour.

Oklahoma State’s Matthew Wolff and California’s Collin Morikawa have already won events. Wolff’s Oklahoma State teammate and past United States Amateur champion Viktor Hovland just missed qualifying for the FedEx Cup playoffs. In the allotted seven sponsor exemptions, he had some fine finishes including a fourth-place finish in the Tour’s last event. Unfortunately he needed a second-place finish to earn his PGA Tour card.

Hovland gets a second chance in the Korn Ferry Tour finals. This is the old Web.com Tour. If he does well enough in its three-event playoffs, he can still earn his PGA Tour card. Hovland has shot final rounds of 64, 65, 64 and 65 in his last four tour events. If he continues to play as well as he has, getting his card should be a no-brainer. However, anything can happen in golf.

Just this past week, 26 year-old J.T. Poston won his first tour event at the Wyndham Championship. Not only that, he shot a final round 62 for a 22-under par total. He didn’t have a bogey all week; the first time that was done since 1974 when Hall of Famer Lee Trevino accomplished the feat.

On the LPGA Tour, an unknown to American golf fans captured the AIG Women’s British Open for her first major. Twenty-year-old Hinako Shibuno did have two prior wins on the Japanese LPGA Tour in this her rookie season. Talk about coming out of nowhere! She powered in a putt that slammed into the back of the middle of the cup to eke out the win over Lizette Salas who was preparing for what she thought would be a playoff.

EVANS SCHOLARS

Have you ever heard of the Evans Scholars or the Evans Scholars Foundation? I did an article back in 2005 when Arnie and Mary Pasquali’s grandson had been awarded one of these prestigious scholarships.

The foundation was created by Chick Evans and the mission is to “provide college scholarships to caddies of modest means.” Famous golfer Chick Evans asked the Western Golf Association to administer the fund he had created to send deserving caddies to college. Initially all scholarships were to Northwestern University where Evans had attended for one year.

The first Evans Scholarship House was established at Northwestern University in 1940 allowing recipients to live and learn together. There is an Evans Scholarship House at Purdue right on the Ackerman-Allen golf course.

Today there are almost 11,000 alumni in many distinguished fields. Last year there were 985 scholars at 18 leading universities nationwide. The foundation has a goal of having 1,000 by the year 2020.

Today the foundation is supported by more than 400 golf associations across the country including the Indiana Golf Association. The Indiana State Seniors Golf Association also supports Evans Scholars.

So who was Chick Evans? He was a legendary amateur golfer who captured the 1916 U.S. Amateur and U.S. Open in the same year. The only other person to accomplish this feat was the great Bobby Jones. Although pressured to enter the professional ranks, Evans wanted to remain an amateur. An escrow fund was set up so that any earnings could be used to provide college education for needy caddies. He appeared in 50 consecutive U.S. Amateurs.

Evans indicated his biggest thrill in the game of golf was the success of Evans Scholars and not the 54 victories and many honors he had received. Evans died in 1979.

EVANS SCHOLAR QUIZ

Can you name the Evans Scholars from our local high schools? Look for the names in a future article.

CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS

We are entering club championship season at our local courses. Wildcat Creek is hosting its championship this weekend. The Kokomo Country Club and Chippendale will follow within the next month.

INDIANA LEFTYS

The 2019 Indiana Leftys championship is being held on the weekend of Sept. 28-29 at Swan Lake Resort in Plymouth. Entry forms are posted on the bulletin board at Wildcat Creek if you are interested.

COUNTY DEADLINE

The 2019 Howard County men’s tournament will be held on the weekend of Aug. 24-25. The first round will be contested at Chippendale and the final round at Wildcat Creek. Posters and entry forms are at the in-town courses. The entry deadline is only a week away so get your entry in now.

Until next time, have more fun playing more golf!

Jon Kelley is an active golfer and local golf historian who contributes columns to the Tribune. He may be reached by email at jon_kelley@comcast.net.

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