Purdue student earns gift of a lifetime

PGA golfer Jordan Spieth meets Purdue Student and Evans Scholar Hayden Bauschka at the 2016 BMW Championship. 
(Photo Courtesy: Charles Cherney/WGA)
PGA golfer Jordan Spieth meets Purdue Student and Evans Scholar Hayden Bauschka at the 2016 BMW Championship. (Photo Courtesy: Charles Cherney/WGA)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – Over the past four years, Purdue sophomore Hayden Bauschka has been a golf caddie at his hometown course. But recently, he just became an Evan’s Scholar.

“My club started caddying two years ago, and I was fortunate enough to be one of the first recipients from our Carmel course,” said Bauschka. “And it’s been a great experience, so far.”

In order to be an Evan’s Scholar, you need to be a caddie at a golf course. If his course wouldn’t have started caddying, he never would have gotten the call that changed his life.

“It was surreal. I was actually counting trees at work for my internship and I got a call from Jeff Harrison — one of the directors from the WGA — and he said, ‘Hey Hayden, you were named the BMW featured scholar for this year,’ I was amazed and so honored,” said Bauschka.

Because Jordan Spieth hit a hole-in-one during the 2015 BMW Championship, a $100,000 donation was made to the Evan’s Scholarship Foundation.

After interviewing candidates within the foundation, Bauschka was named the lucky winner. Which meant after a year of paying for school himself, he had a huge weight lifted off his shoulders.

“It was an awesome feeling to know that I could go to one of the top engineering schools in the country and not have a single penny of debt,” said Bauschka. “I’m so privileged to have that happen to me, and we were so relieved that burden had been lifted off of our shoulders.”

Along with the scholarship, Bauschka was able meet the former No. 1 world golfer in person at the BMW Championship earlier this month.

“I still can’t believe it happened,” said Bauschka. “He [Spieth] is just genuine and as good of a person as he seems on camera.”

After meeting with Spieth, Bauschka found out it was the shot that almost didn’t happen. Spieth and his caddie didn’t know if they should go with the 6-iron or the 7-iron.

They ended up going with the 7-iron, something Bauschka said he’s forever grateful.

“One of the comments I made was thank you so much for hitting that 7-iron, that was the best decision,” said Bauschka. “But he overruled his caddie, and it might have been for the better.”

While he knows the scholarship is life-changing, he also knows one decision early in his life made all of this possible.

“Back in fourth grade, my dad, on my birthday said, ‘Hayden you can either go to the course or go to school,'” explained Bauschka. “And like any 10-year-old kid, I said, ‘Let’s go to the course, dad,’ And ever since, I’ve been hooked.”

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