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Local youngster inside the ropes at RBC Heritage
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12-year old Evan Avret working as a standard bearer for Davis Love lll and Aaron Baddeley at the RBC Heritage Saturday.

12 year old Evan Avret of Statesboro has always dreamt of one day playing on the PGA Tour. This week he finally got his chance to be inside the ropes at a PGA event, only not as a player, but as a standard bearer, at the annual RBC Heritage at Hilton Head Island.


“I’ve seen the kids working as standard bearers before, and I always wanted to be inside the ropes with the pros to see what it’s like.” Avret said. “I sent in an application to work at the RBC Heritage. They emailed me back a few weeks later to say I got it. I was so excited.”


For the RBC Heritage the International Junior Golf Academy (IJGA) sponsors the standard bearer program. They help coordinate the registration process that begins in February, and includes 100-120 local and regional volunteers in grades six through 12.


“In the process there is good competition in getting their favorite players,” said Laurel Karper, IJGA assistant director of student life. “We try and make it fair, but sometimes it comes down to an old fashioned rock, paper, scissors duel. Some of them gain an insight for a player they may not have followed before.”

Avret got to the golf course around 6:15 am on Friday, and was given the task of following around the group of Rod Pampling, Matt Every and Ryan Moore. Standard bearers walk inside the ropes for all 18 holes with their group, carrying a leaderboard standard to display scores. After a group has finished a hole, they place the corresponding score next to their names.


“I was a little nervous since it was my first time,” Avret said. “You have to pay attention to see what they shoot, but there is a scorer with every group if you are not sure they tell you. I mixed up Ryan Moore and Matt Every once, but I caught it when we were walking down the fairway before anybody said anything to me.”


Avret said one of the things he appreciated most about being so close with the pros, was how hard much they practice before a round, particularly on putting. He also saw first hand how they deal with adversity on the course.


“I was with Davis Love lll and Aaron Baddeley today,” Avret said. “Baddeley was four over through 10 holes. You could tell he was a little upset, but he didn’t quit and he birdied five of his last eight holes to finish one under par. That taught me to not quit, or give up in the middle of a round.”


Avret is hoping to continue being a standard bearer at other PGA events, as Statesboro is within a short drive of PGA Tour stops such as The Wells Fargo Championship, held May 3-6 in Charlotte NC, The Players Championship, held in Ponte Vedra Beach May 10-13, and the Tour Championship held at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta September 20-23.


“I’d love to be able to do this again, wherever I can,” Avret said. “The place I’d most like to work would be at TPC Sawgrass for The Players Championship. I’ve been there before, but being inside the ropes would be very cool.”

Avret was even luck enough to have a chat with a couple of the players he was with during his two days at Harbor Town.


“I talked with Matt Every about coming to Statesboro, where he won the Schenkel Invitational back in 2004, when he played for Florida,” Avret said. “Today I talked to Davis Love lll. His caddy went to Georgia Southern, and he was asking me about good places to eat barbeque in Statesboro. I told him to go to Vandy’s.”


So don’t be surprised if you’re in line at Vandy’s some time soon, and see the 21-time PGA Tour winner standing in line in front of you thanks to the recommendation of a 12 year old standard bearer.

For more information on being a standard bearer at the RBC Heritage go to