Local links enable golfer’s dream trip

St. Andrews: Community helps Tumwater grad Seth Nickerson raise money to play tournament at golf’s birthplace in Scotland

mwochnick@theolympian.comJune 23, 2012 

Play golf at St. Andrews Links in Scotland? It gives Seth Nickerson goose bumps.

“I looked at one of my friends and said, ‘I would do anything to go on this trip,’ ” recalled Nickerson, a recent Tumwater High graduate.

The invitation to play at the annual American High School Golf Championship, a weeklong event that begins Sunday at the birthplace of golf and one of the world’s finest courses, came in April. There was just one issue: How to come up in two months with the $5,000 necessary for the trip.

Thanks to a series of fundraisers and donations from the community, Nickerson, who will be accompanied by his mother, Julie, won’t have to pay a dime for the chance of a lifetime.

“I can’t thank them enough,” Nickerson said. “Golf has been my passion since a young age. It’s cool to go where the game began and being able to see everything that’s there and the history behind the game.”

The event features some of the United States’ top high school golfers competing in the 54-hole stroke play tournament on two of St. Andrews’ seven courses – Jubilee and Eden, as well as nearby Crail Balcomie.

“It’s going to be amazing,” Nickerson said.

It’s the start of a busy few weeks before Nickerson heads off to Pacific Lutheran University where he’ll join the men’s golf team this fall.

Just days after he returns from Scotland, Nickerson will caddie for friend Dominick Francks, a recent Olympia High School graduate who will play golf at Stanford this fall. Francks is entered in the 19th Sahalee Players Championship, a top amateur tournament, at Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish on July 4-6.

Nickerson was a four-year state qualifier at Tumwater, including a personal-best third-place finish at The Classic Golf Course in Spanaway in May. In 2010, he placed third (70-74-69—213) at the Washington Junior Golf Association tournament – an event Francks won – but Nickerson said that inspired him to become more competitive.

“I have the motivation and drive to try and be the best I can be,” Nickerson said. “I’ve been working hard ever since.”

mwochnick@theolympian.com
360-754-5473
theolympian.com/southsoundsports
@megwochnick

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