Portland area caddie wins full ride $120K scholarship
After working as a caddie, a Beaverton student will receive a full ride scholarship for college.
Southridge High School senior Elsie Bradford, 18, was awarded the Western Golf Association's Chick Evans scholarship, a full, four-year housing and tuition scholarship. The scholarship is valued at an estimated $120,000 over four years.
The funds come mostly from contributions by 32,500 golfers across the country, who are members of the Evans Scholars Par club program, according to the WGA.
Bradford was one of 12 Oregon students to receive the honor.
"I've been working towards it for years," said Bradford. "When I got the letter, I was so excited."
Due to COVID-19, Bradford and the other nominees were interviewed virtually by WGA directors, Evans scholars alumni and other program supporters on Feb 22. The association says that each caddie had a unique story to tell and met certain selection criteria.
The criteria included a strong caddie record, excellent academics, demonstrated financial need and outstanding character. To be considered for the scholarship, caddies must also have a certain number of rounds under their belt.
"Each of these deserving young students epitomizes what our program has been about since its creation in 1930," said Western Golf Association chairman Kevin Buggy. "Their dedication, hard work and sacrifice is humbling, and we are honored to be able to help them pursue their dreams."
Bradford began caddying at the Portland Golf Club in April of 2019.
When asked if the virus was a concern with the number of rounds for the scholarship, Bradford said it wasn't too much of an issue.
"I was not too stressed about it. I talked to my head golf pro and he said the scholarship committee would take that into account," she recalled. "But it was a little disappointing to have to stop caddying for a bit."
Bradford remembers initially hearing about the scholarship from a family friend but didn't know one thing about the job.
At the Portland Golf Club, she quickly learned about carrying a golf bag for a member, helping them with shots and offering advice during the round.
The senior plans on using her scholarship money to attend the University of Oregon. She says she wouldn't have been able to afford it without the funds.
"I'm hoping to go to the medical field, but I'm not sure. I'm interested in studying psychology," Bradford said.
She added, "I'm so grateful for the scholarship. It's an incredible opportunity."
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