Four years ago Andrea Messer and Evan Jensen met at the Belleview Biltmore's Golf and Resort Club summer golf camp. Andrea had been playing since 1999, but this was Evan's first attempt at golf. They developed a close friendship as well as a passion for the sport during this summer clinic. "They both push each other to succeed," explains Evan's father Pete. "It is a relationship that has been great for both girls."
After the initial golf camp, during their seventh and eighth grade years, Andrea and Evan played as teammates on the varsity golf team for Indian Rocks Christian. Their team won the district championships both of those years. During their ninth and tenth grade years, the girls played on the Largo High school boy's golf team as well as playing in several small local golf tournaments throughout the Tampa Bay Area.
Andrea and Evan now play in specific tournaments, run by the Florida Junior Tour and the American Junior Golf Association (playing amongst the best golfers in the country.) At this time Evan and Andrea rank in the country's 100 best golfers for their age group. Andrea and Evan tied for first in the Innisbrook Back to School tournament, and Andrea then won the Innisbrook Christmas tournament. Evan won the Florida Junior Tournament player of the year in the 13-15 year olds last year and is leading in 16-18 year olds through the first three tournaments of this year. Andrea tied for first position in the state championships for her age group last year.
Tiger Woods is Evan and Andrea's favorite athlete and role model. As Evan explains, "I always liked Tiger, even before I took up golf. He is the ultimate athlete." Andrea agrees adding, "He shows so much passion for the game and his story is so great." Locally, both girls followed the early career of Brittany Linicome, a Seminole High School graduate who is now touring professionally. "She always knew she would be on tour some day," explain Andrea and Evan.
Andrea and Evan plan to hit the professional touring circuit themselves, but not before attending college, hopefully on golf scholarships and hopefully somewhere in the south. Andrea hopes to attend the University of Georgia, Duke University or Vanderbilt University. Evan would like to attend the University of Florida, the University of Georgia or Duke University. Evan would like to eventually teach golf or go into golf management. Andrea hopes to go to law school, and perhaps eventually become a judge.
When asked what advice they would pass along to other young people hoping to take up the game of golf, Evan immediately replied that, "It's fun, but you have to put a lot of time into it." During the school year both girls play three hours every weekday, and both play eight hours a day during the summer. "You have to practice a lot," explained Andrea, "the more time you put into it, the better you play. And the better you play, the better you feel."
Both Andrea and Evan feel lucky to have found their true passion in golf and lifelong friendships as well. "It has become our life," exclaims Andrea; "our best friends are right here on the golf course."
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