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Oak Bay caddy scores full 4-year scholarship to pursue music

Saanich student is the sole Chick Evans scholar in Canada
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Reynolds student Patrick Coolican plans to pursue music in university and is among the winners of a scholarship originally founded by famed Chicago amateur golfer Charles “Chick” Evans Jr. (Courtesy Western Golf Association)

Summers spent working the links in Oak Bay are paying off for Saanich student Patrick Coolican.

“It was definitely a big part of three summers in high school, 30 per cent of of my time in high school was working caddying,” he said of the job that afforded an opportunity to hone interpersonal skills. “I’m not good in front of crowds or public speaking so it was good practice.”

The Reynolds secondary student who graduates in June, signed on as a caddy three years ago after his parents learned of the potential Chick Evans Scholarship.

It also seemed like an opportunity to revisit the sport he learned with his grandparents as a kid. He did manage to hit the greens at Victoria Golf Club over the years, but the big win came early this year, when he was named the sole Canadian recipient of the Western Golf Association Chick Evans Scholarship – a full housing and tuition scholarship for high-achieving golf caddies.

READ ALSO: Saanich student scores 4-year scholarship working Oak Bay links

Evans Scholar’s are considered in light of a strong caddie record, excellent academics, financial need and outstanding character.

“Throughout my years as a caddie at Victoria Golf Club, I have made many lifelong connections and friendships, and I have grown to become the strong person I am today,” he said.

With a passion for piano, Coolican plans to study music composition this fall at one of the Western Golf Association’s 24 partner universities across the U.S. He figures that his love of music perhaps helped him stand out – Patrick is the sole scholarship recipient from Canada.

Coolican feels this scholarship takes the pressure off his mom, an immigrant from Japan, who can focus on saving up for post-secondary for his two younger sisters.

Currently, a record 1,130 caddies are enrolled at 24 universities across the U.S. as Evans Scholars, and more than 12,040 caddies have graduated as Evans Scholars since the program was founded by famed Chicago amateur golfer Charles “Chick” Evans Jr. in 1930.

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Christine van Reeuwyk

About the Author: Christine van Reeuwyk

I'm dedicated to serving the community of Oak Bay as a senior journalist with the Greater Victoria news team.
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