Crestwood teen an Evans Scholar to Notre Dame
BY STEVE METSCH email@example.com May 30, 2013 10:04PM
Michael Buche with clubs at his home in Crestwood, IL on Friday May 3, 2013. Mike is a Chick Evans scholar to Notre Dame. | Matt Marton~Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 1, 2013 6:44AM
You can call Michael Buche a trendsetter.
The Crestwood teen is one of the first two caddies to become a Chick Evans Scholar at the University of Notre Dame. He and Anthony La Guardia, of Washington state, will have their tuition and books paid for by the Western Golf Association’s Evans Scholars Foundation.
“Notre Dame was my first choice, and they had to start somewhere,” Buche deadpanned.
Buche, who just graduated from St. Laurence High School in Burbank, has been a caddie for six years — the past five at the Beverly Country Club after one year at Midlothian Country Club. He will caddie at Beverly this summer.
“There’s a lot of things to being a caddie,” he said. “You should listen to the older kids when you start. You have to take it seriously. You have to know where to stand, making sure how far the ball is from the green, little things like that.”
He enjoys the golfers, too.
“Sometimes, they play for fun. Sometimes, they play for money,” he said with a knowing smile.
He doesn’t suggest clubs for golfers but is in charge of just about everything else to make sure the golfer has an enjoyable 18 holes.
The craziest things he has seen are a coyote chasing a goose, which escaped unharmed, and a ball ricochet off a tree and hit an unfortunate golfer in his chin. Fortunately, the man escaped serious injury, Buche said.
The day President Barack Obama golfed at Beverly, caddies were kept in the caddieshack until the president was several holes removed, he said. They also went through metal detectors when they arrived at the golf course.
Buche played for St. Laurence’s varsity golf team.
“My handicap is a 15 on a good day,” he said.
He also played hockey for the school, is the drummer for a garage rock band with friends and was a drummer for the high school marching band.
His mother, Laura, said she and her husband, Mark, had tears in their eyes when they learned that Michael, the second of their four children, was getting the scholarship.
That happens when parents realize they won’t have to pay about $57,000 for one year’s worth of tuition, room and board.
“I was shocked. I still don’t believe it,” she said.
Grades, caddie experience, service and school activities are all taken into account, said Buche, who plans to study mechanical engineering and had a 4.89 grade-point average on a 5.0 scale.
He learned the good news in February when he received a large envelope in the mail.
“I started shaking. I knew what it was,” he said. “I didn’t think I was going to get it.”
Tom Bear, executive director of student financial strategies at Notre Dame, said the university has wanted to participate in the Chick Evans program but is “unique in that there is no Greek life here, so there won’t be a Chick Evans house.”
Buche and LaGuardia will be randomly assigned to residence halls, as are other Notre Dame freshmen.
“It helps with our diversity to have students with different backgrounds,” Bear said. “We think this is a wonderful opportunity and we are excited about it.”
So is a certain family in Crestwood.