14 Colorado Caddies Awarded Evans Scholarships

Perhaps it’s the fact that Cherry Hills Country Club is home to the largest caddie program in the state.

Perhaps it’s that Cherry Hills this September will host the BMW Championship, the PGA Tour event which sends its proceeds to the Evans Caddie Scholarship.

Or perhaps it’s that three caddies from Cherry Hills were finalists for full tuition and housing Evans Scholarships at the University of Colorado.

Whatever the case, the recent Evans Scholars selection meeting at Cherry Hills produced or matched several records, at least for recent decades.

The Illinois-based Western Golf Association, which partners with the Colorado Golf Association and Colorado Women’s Golf Association in supporting the Evans Scholarship at CU, has offered 14 Colorado teenagers the scholarship, each worth more than $70,000 if renewed for four years. That matches the highest number of in-state recipients in a single class for at least the last 20 years.

In addition, the 40-plus Evans Scholars applicants in Colorado were the most in a couple of decades. And the 140 people who attended the selection meeting at Cherry Hills last week is believed to be an all-time high for Colorado.

The Evans Scholarship is a flagship program for both the CGA and CWGA. Through CGA and CWGA bag-tag sales and Par Club contributions, Colorado donors fully fund the year-to-year scholarship costs at the CU Evans Scholars house.

That house, home to fewer than 30 Scholars less than a decade ago, is expected to include between 45 and 50 caddies in the 2014-15 school year thanks to an incoming class that will probably exceed 15 when out-of-staters and possible additions from Colorado are factored in.

The 14 new recipients of Evans Scholarships at CU who were announced Thursday include three caddies each from Cherry Hills and the Basalt-based Roaring Fork Club, two each from Denver Country Club, Lakewood Country Club and the Broadmoor Golf Club, and one each from Castle Pines Golf Club and Aspen’s Maroon Creek Club, which produced its first Evans Scholar.

In addition, four of the incoming Evans Scholars received their start as caddies at the Solich Caddie & Leadership Academy at CommonGround Golf Course before “graduating” to other clubs.

Here are the 14 new Evans Scholars named Thursday, with their hometowns, high schools and the clubs at which they caddie:

• Dalton Anderson of Firestone, homeschooled (Cherry Hills CC and Solich Caddie Academy at CommonGround)

• Blake Biskner of Colorado Springs, Doherty HS (Castle Pines GC)

• Kyle Bruna of Carbondale, Roaring Fork HS (Roaring Fork Club)

• Soren Fuchs of Denver, Denver East HS (Denver CC)

• Benjamin Garcia of Lakewood, Lakewood HS (Lakewood CC)

• Bradley Garcia-Garza of Aurora, Mullen HS (Cherry Hills CC and Solich Caddie Academy at CommonGround)

• Jordan Gillmore of Broomfield, The Academy of Charter Schools (Lakewood CC and Solich Caddie Academy at CommonGround)

• Timothy Johnson of Basalt, Basalt HS (Roaring Fork Club)

• Arturo Mata-Martinez of Denver, Machebeuf HS (Cherry Hills CC and Solich Caddie Academy at CommonGround)

• Kobe Padilla of Centennial, Cherry Creek HS (Denver CC)

• Alexandra Revilla Serrano of Carbondale, Basalt HS (Roaring Fork Club)

• Audrey Sichel of Carbondale, Aspen HS (Maroon Creek Club)

• Perrin Swoveland-Bailey of Colorado Springs, The Vanguard School (Broadmoor GC)

• Zoe Welz of Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs HS (Broadmoor GC)

With four young women in the group, the Evans Scholars at CU will remain about one-quarter female.

The newcomers are well distributed at clubs across the state, with four located on the Western Slope, two from Colorado Springs, one from Castle Rock and seven from the greater Denver metro area.

The group, collectively, has set a high standard in high school, with 10 of the 14 being in the National Honor Society. The grade-point average norm is 3.74, while the ACT entrance exam average is 27.7.

To qualify for an Evans Scholarship, applicants must have excellent caddie records and academic results, show strong character and leadership, and demonstrate financial need.

The Evans Scholarship, one of the nation’s largest privately funded scholarship programs, was established in 1930 by Charles “Chick” Evans, winner of a U.S. Open and two U.S. Amateurs.

Nationwide, the Evans Scholarship has 14 houses at various universities, mostly in the Midwest. The scholarship has produced more than 9,800 graduates, including about 420 from CU. Approximately 840 Evans Scholars are currently enrolled across the country, and about 240 scholarships are expected to be awarded for the incoming class of 2014-15.

Evans Scholars typically excel academically, with a cumulative GPA of 3.25, and a 90-percent-plus graduation rate.