Evan Bowser’s rise to success

By Michael Keenan

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Closing in on his third year as an Oakland University golfer, Evan Bowser has been nothing short of sensational.

Bowser has already earned various accolades and honors throughout his first three years as a Golden Grizzly, and his list of accomplishments during his golf career include the following:

  • Qualifying for three straight U.S. Amateur Championships and three consecutive state finals.

  • Becoming the first Oakland golfer to win all-league awards in his first two seasons and win a pair of individual tournaments as a freshman.

  • Recording the second lowest scoring average (73.84) in Oakland history, behind current PGA golfer Brian Stuard.

Where the passion began

Bowser’s interest in golf came about when he was just two years old, and he gives credit where it is due for his strong passion for the game.

Both my mother and father have made a huge impact on my golf career,” Bowser said.

“From introducing the game to me at a very young age, to pushing me every day to improve and driving me to golf tournaments, I owe much of my success and passion to them.”

Evan attended Dearborn High School, where he played golf all four years and was a three-time conference champion.

Three top-10 finishes at the state finals, two all-state honors and an all-state dream team nomination as a senior paved the way for his college career at Oakland University.

Success is bigger than wins

In his three years at Oakland, Bowser has already broke the school record for career rounds under par (22), tied the single-season school record with a low round of 65 (-6) and played in the U.S. Amateur Championship in each of the three years.

In spite of the success, Bowser attributes something other than the idea of winning as his favorite part of Oakland golf.

“Getting to know the incredible people who I have been teammates with over the past three seasons is the best thing I will take away,” said Bowser.

Oakland University head golf coach Mark Engel realizes the privilege of coaching a talent like Bowser.

“Evan’s track record, from his success at Oakland to his three straight U.S. Amateur appearances speaks for itself. He’s a tremendous college golfer,” Engel said.

”There are not many student-athletes who represent Oakland better, on or off the course, and I truly believe that.”

Engel added that Bowser’s talent is just as remarkable as his leadership.

“He helped bring a lot of our new guys along this year. He’s a good role model for them in many ways, and it shows in the way he cares about our whole team,” he said.

A record-breaking, attention-drawing season

This golf season in particular was a special one for Bowser.

On April 26, he accomplished something that only three other golfers have done in the program’s history — winning the Horizon League conference tournament.

Bowser posted a final round score of 76 (+4) and won a 2-hole playoff to capture the Horizon League title, something that hadn’t been done since former OU golf star and current PGA golfer Brian Stuard in 2005.

“It was an incredible week for me and a great experience to win a Horizon League Championship. Following Brian Stuard’s excellent track record is truly a great honor,” Bowser said.

“He is such a successful golfer on the PGA Tour, which inspires me to compete with his numbers and accomplishments.”

Engel, as well as many others, understands how big of an accomplishment the victory was for not only Bowser, but also the school’s golf program.

“It was a great accomplishment by Evan because there’s some tremendous competition for the medalist award at the League Championship every year. He had to beat some really good players to win it,” said Engel.

“To us, as an extension, it brought Oakland golf into the spotlight by Evan advancing to the NCAA Regional thanks to his win.”

Year three’s conclusion

Bowser qualified for the NCAA Noblesville Regional, which took place May 14-16 at the Sagamore Golf Club hosted by Ball State University in Noblesville, Indiana

Bowser’s confidence level was at an all-time high heading into the most important tournament of the year.

“There are going to be many great teams and players fighting for the few spots to move on, but if I play like I am capable of playing, it should be a very exciting and memorable three days,” said Bowser.

Bowser finished the tournament tied for 33rd with a final score of 224.

With one year remaining, Bowser has already left his mark on Oakland’s golf program in a big way.