Senior Evans leads the Islanders’ boys golf squad

He’s headed to Duke University next year.

After two state golf championships were sidelined due to the pandemic, Ethan Evans is hoping to get a shot at defending his 3A title in the spring of 2022.

The Mercer Island High School (MIHS) senior linkster earned the state crown as a freshman and continued his winning ways in the Washington Junior Golf Association (WJGA) realm by notching titles the last two summers. That makes five WJGA championships for Evans, who also triumphed from 2015-2017.

This fall, the Duke University-bound Evans has snagged medalist honors in each of the Islanders’ four 3A KingCo matches, which has resulted in a 3-1 team record at press time. He’s also medaled in nonleague action along with teammate Elliott Hoang, who Evans said has been pushing him to elevate his game.

Evans has been pleased with his putting over the last month and a half as it remains the strength of his game. The Islander is working to give his swing and chipping a boost as he prepares for more KingCo action and some tournaments across the country.

“I’m still feeling good about my game and just kind of excited for what’s to come,” said Evans, adding that his teammates are thrilled to be playing a full schedule this fall. “I think guys are more motivated this year to really work on their games and focus every day at practice, which is pretty cool.”

Evans said the college recruiting process was tough because it was done remotely, but he felt a connection with the Duke coaches and program during his Zoom discussions and received a partial scholarship.

He did get a chance to visit the school in Durham, North Carolina, while taking a side trip following a tournament back east this past summer. His decision to go with Duke was solidified when he checked out the campus.

“It just felt like it could be my home for several years. I’m really excited about that and definitely feel really fortunate with how it (worked out),” said Evans, who hopes to major in either economics or communications.

The Reporter asked Evans a series of questions to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into his life:

What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve ever been given?

Golf advice, if I had to tell anyone one thing (that I’ve learned), I would just say, “Play your game and don’t try to play anyone else’s game.” Oftentimes, I’ve struggled trying to pick up things from other players and put it into my game — it just doesn’t work. I should be asking myself, “What can I do better to improve my game?”

I think don’t let every golf shot or every golf round be life and death. Just enjoy it. Having fun is the most important thing. I think you’ll get the most out of your golf game if you have those positive thoughts when you’re playing.

What’s your favorite movie of all time?

I’d maybe say “Prisoners” as my No. 1 if I had to choose one.

What’s the craziest thing that you’ve ever done?

I did some rock jumping in Hawaii from pretty high up. Kind of worked up the courage to do that, which was cool.

What’s a special skill that you’d like to learn?

I’ve played quite a bit of tennis recently, and I want to have that as a hobby, something that I’m really good at.

If you could go to dinner with one person, who would that be?

Tiger Woods. I just think I could learn a lot about just how he operates. What kind of thoughts go through his head. What makes him so mentally tough. He’s known for having the best work ethic in the history of golf and maybe even sports. I would be curious to hear about what it takes to go through that routine that he went through and what motivated him and just what allowed him to be so good. And kind of just see how he is as a person.

What super power would you like to have?

I think it would be really cool to know what people are thinking at a given time.