How working as a caddie paid off with full college scholarship for Ballard grad

How working as a caddie paid off with full college scholarship for Ballard grad

Working as a caddie has turned out to be more than just a summer job for Seattle’s Luke Sellers.

Sellers, who went to Ballard High School and first started working as a caddie the summer before his freshman year at Seattle Golf Club, is one of two Seattle-area students — along with Matthew Miller from Decatur High School in Federal Way — to receive a Chick Evans Scholarship for caddies.

The full four-year tuition and housing scholarship has an average value of $120,000. There have been more than 11,300 Evans Scholarships granted since 1930, and the program seeks students who show academic strength, financial need, outstanding character and a strong caddie record.

“From the very first presentation (when starting as a caddie), you find out about the Chick Evans Scholarship and what are the requirements, and I was always interested in it,” said Sellers, who started college at Washington State last year, but is transferring to Washington and will live in the Evans scholar house.

Sellers had not caddied enough rounds to fulfill the requirements for the Evans scholarship right out of high school. But he got in some extra rounds and reapplied for the scholarship, which is good at any college with an Evans scholar house. Washington and Oregon are the only two on the West Coast.

“Ever since growing up I always wanted to be a Husky, and I am so excited to get this opportunity,” Sellers said.

While caddies are mostly nonexistent at public courses these days, they are often used at some private courses.

Sellers, who played golf for Ballard High School, said, “When you work for a member at Seattle Golf Club, they already know the course, but when you get paired with a guest you can give them advice on what shot they might want to hit.”

Sellers said one of his scholarship requirements is to continue to do some work as a caddie in the summers while in college.

“Thirteen, 14 is definitely the age to start at, and if you go out there and keep caddying, there is a good chance to get an amazing scholarship,” Sellers said of the advice he would give young caddies.

Meanwhile, five high school freshmen from the Seattle area are taking part in a program this summer that provides an opportunity to caddie daily at Seattle Golf Club.

The Western Golf Association’s Seattle Caddie Academy launched its first season this summer, with the five students living for seven weeks at the UW Evans scholars house. After successfully completing three summers, they become eligible to apply for the Evans Scholarship.

After a one-year hiatus, the Boeing Classic returns to The Club at Snoqualmie Ridge. The three-day tournament runs Aug. 20-22.

Also back are the Seahawks Rumble at the Ridge and the Pro-Am that take place earlier in the week.

Tournament director Brian Flajole said the event is following CDC and local guidelines. Masks, which will be provided, will be required on shuttle buses to the course, and unvaccinated spectators will be encouraged to wear masks while at the course.

The final round of the 2019 tournament had what most believe is the biggest crowd in tournament history, with Seattle native Fred Couples holding a five-shot lead entering the last round.

He faded to third, and Brandt Jobe rallied to win.

Couples has committed to play again this year, as has two-time champion Bernhard Langer. Four-time major champion Ernie Els is expected to play for the first time in the 50-and-older PGA Tour Champions event.

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