HILLIARD, Ohio (WCMH) — One Hilliard Davidson senior will be going to Ohio State University this fall on a full-ride scholarship – for being a golf caddie.

It’s through a program called the Evans Scholar Foundation.

Ryder Wilson is one of 24 Ohio students named an Evans Scholar.

The Chick Evans Scholarship is a full, four-year tuition and housing college scholarship awarded to students who show academic strength, financial need, outstanding character and a strong caddie record.

There is no firm cutoff on family income to determine financial need and each case is judged individually and other factors are taken into account, such as family size, family hardship (divorce, the death of a parent, medical struggles and other personal burdens), etc.

The program, supported by the Western Golf Association (WGA), is funded by contributions from nearly 36,000 donors nationwide, including Evans Scholars Alumni and proceeds from the BMW Championship.

In 2020, Wilson said he knew very little about golf, and knew less about being a caddie. But three years of caddying at the Scioto Country Club – a job he found – turned out to be a life-changing opportunity.

“It was the start of Covid, you know? I was looking for a job and I really didn’t know what to do,” Wilson said. “I first heard about the caddie program through my dad.

He wasn’t thrilled about becoming a caddie, but things at home pushed him towards figuring out a way to pay for his college.

“When I was 4 years old, my dad got into a car accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down,” he said. “As soon as I heard about the opportunity that caddying out here could get me a full-ride scholarship, it’s something that I set a goal for and strived for.”

Not only striving for but accomplishing.

Wilson will be going to Ohio State to study finance and information systems.

His manager at Scioto Country Club, Jason Dick, said he pushed him to apply because he knew he was the right fit.

“He’s got a work ethic like any other caddie I’ve seen here in my 17 years at the club, a lot of perseverance,” Dick said. “With his connections he’s made here at the club, I don’t see why he won’t be one of the most successful caddies ever that have come out of the program.”

For Wilson, his why was simple.

“My dad is someone who has worked so hard through his challenges and just to be able to lift that burden off of them and just to repay them and all the hard work they’ve done for me to get me in the position I’m in, it meant so much,” he said.