Ethan Evans fired up his golf clubs to the tune of 12 birdies and one eagle en route to notching the 44th Annual Washington Junior Golf Association State Boys’ Championship on Aug. 5-7 in Spokane.
The 16-year-old Mercer Island High junior-to-be — who won the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association 3A state individual crown as a freshman — won by three shots with a three-day total of 8-under par 206. He nailed a 6-under 66 on the first day at Hangman Valley Golf Club, then shot a 2-under 69 on the second day and followed that up with an even 71 on day three. The last two days took place at Manito Golf and Country Club.
Evans began the tournament with a birdie on the first hole and amassed seven birdies during that initial round. He nailed his eagle on the 14th hole of round three.
“It was huge. It felt really good to get a win, especially at a state championship where I’m playing against all the guys that I’ve been playing against since I was 7 or 8. It just means a lot,” Evans said over the phone from Arkansas, where he’s competing in the Southern Junior tournament.
The linkster last won the WJGA state crown in 2017, completing a trifecta of consecutive titles starting in 2015.
At the recent state tourney, Evans said it was crucial to jump out to a solid start since he tends to struggle in the initial rounds of events. Another goal was to golf in the final group on the last day, which he also achieved.
“That just kind of gave me confidence to keep doing what I was doing that day,” he said of the opening round. “My game felt really good and it was just nice to come out and put everything together the first day.”
With each tournament comes maximum pressure to succeed, and Evans feels with this massive win that he can handle any stress that arises when he tees up at the subsequent events.
Evans is already thinking about what the next prep season could bring after the state tournament was canceled in the spring due to the COVID 19 pandemic.
“I was super bummed to not be able to not only compete as an individual, but try to help the team to a state championship that we haven’t had in a while,” he said.
Putting a positive spin on the situation, Evans noted that everyone is returning for the MIHS squad and the Islanders hope to reap state success in the spring of 2021.