VANCOUVER, WA (KPTV) - Academics and action. Character and commitment. The Evans Scholarship is in year 90 of holding kids accountable and teeing up quite a start to adult life.
Central Catholic 2020 alum Tony Cole has been putting it in the bag all summer long as a caddie at Royal Oaks Country Club in Vancouver. This after the COVID-19 pandemic washed out the senior season on the links for the Ram.
"I think we are powering through, just because I think we all know it is going to come back at some point," Cole said.
Cole's calendar is pointing towards turning 18, likely while working 18 holes before heading off to college in Eugene - an opportunity that seemed far from reality before being adopted as a five-month-old from South Korea.
"I am going to guess there was a little bit of a struggle there that this was going to be a better life for me over here and obviously it worked out pretty well," said Cole.
At the University of Oregon, Cole plans on studying business administration with an emphasis in sports business to one day work in an NBA front office. Teeing off his college career with full tuition and housing covered by the Evans Scholarship for Caddies through the Western Golf Association.
"Once I figured out what I could achieve with this opportunity and everything that really was a driving force behind me starting to caddie," Cole said.
The scholarship for caddies goes way back.
"I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for the Evans Scholarship," said George Bryant, WGA Director.
Bryant was an Evans Scholar back in 1962.
"They put in the paper in Milwaukie when I graduated from high school about the scholarship and it was worth $5,000 bucks in 1962. I got something from the Evans Scholars Foundation and they are figuring now it is about a $100-120,000 value for the four-years of tuition and room," Bryant said.
While Bryant is a Beaver, 32 of the more than 1,000 Evans Scholars nationwide are enrolled at the University of Oregon and they are carding aces in the classroom - graduating at a 95 percent clip with an average GPA of 3.5, while walking out of school without being in a hole.
"If you would have told me two years ago that I would be in this position, I wouldn’t have believed you," Cole said. "I am very grateful for that because I don’t know what I would be doing right now without the assistance from the scholarship."
Copyright 2020 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.