Pro golfer Kevin Streelman is poised to make his fourth Masters appearance this weekend, but before he tees off on Thursday, he will play in the Par 3 Competition on Wednesday.
Normally, players’ family members will serve as caddys — Tiger Woods will be accompanied by his two kids this year — and the event is one of the PGA Tour’s most cherished traditions. In the past, Streelman’s father, mother and father-in-law have carried his bag in the event, but Streelman will have a very special caddie helping him select his clubs this year.
That honor belongs to 13-year-old Ethan Couch.
An avid golf-fan, Ethan was diagnosed with tectal glioma — a rare, inoperable brain tumor — two years ago, and connected with Streelman through the Make-A-Wish foundation. Though Ethan’s wish was to simply attend golf’s most prestigious tournament, Streelman called him in March and personally invited the young man to serve as his caddy on Wednesday.
Despite his lack of experience, Ethan’s age won’t be a handicap; he has a career-low round of 82 and told ESPN he’ll “definitely make sure [Kevin is] hitting the right club.”
Streelman is no stranger to helping others. Two years ago, his daughter Sophia was born among pregnancy complications and spent an entire week in intensive care before leaving the hospital. “That changed a lot of the ways I see children,” he told ESPN. “I have an entirely new appreciation for what parents with children having tough times are going through.”
These days, Kevin frequently volunteers at his local Make-A-Wish chapter and is looking forward to Wednesday’s round with Ethan:
I just want to open the door to someone and hopefully give him a great day after going through some rough times. This isn’t about me. It’s about giving back. It’s about using the opportunity that I have to make someone’s wish come true.
Couldn’t have said it better myself.