Local Teens Split $1,000 Junior Golf Scholarship from Duke’s Chowder House and Cascade Golfer

Colin Morkert
Jesse Brendle

At one point, it looked like we might go one way. Then, briefly, we started to lean the other direction. Finally, we decided — both of these candidates for the Duke’s Junior Golf Scholarship are so deserving, why don’t we just give it to both of them?
So it is that Jesse Brendle of Sammamish and Colin Morkert of Gig Harbor were named co-recipients of the Duke’s Junior Golf Scholarship for the spring of 2019. The duo will split the $1,000 quarterly award, each receiving $500 to put towards their growth in the game of golf.
“Both Colin and Jesse are great examples of what we look for in awarding this scholarship,” says John Moscrip, COO of Duke’s Chowder House. “They are both excellent students with a strong commitment to their local communities, and have a passion for the game of golf that they’ll take with them throughout their lives.”
An eighth-grader at Goodman Middle School in Gig Harbor, Colin is a long-time participant in Junior PGA and First Tee programs. After learning about the Youth On Course program — a Washington State Golf Association program that allows young golfers to play 18-hole rounds for just $5 — Colin played his first-ever championship round just last spring, firing a 115 at Madrona Links. By the end of the summer, playing frequently through Youth On Course, he had shaved an incredible 30 strokes off of his game and was scoring regularly in the low-80s, with occasional rounds in the 70s.
We’d be happy with that kind of improvement over six years, much less six months.
Colin is also a 4.0 student and is active in both community Young Life and school leadership programs, helping make cards for hospitalized children, gathering clothes to be shipped to at-need African communities, and organizing food and gift drives.
“I love the game of golf because it’s a different game every time. One day you can shoot par, 70, or 100,” Morkert says. “Thank you John Moscrip and Duke’s, along with Cascade Golfer, for honoring me with this award! This money will help me improve my game and continue to pursue my passion for golf.”
Jesse, likewise, has shown a knack for improvement, shaving 20 strokes off of his nine-hole scores since joining the Sammamish High School golf team just two years ago. Now a junior, Jesse also maintains a near-4.0 average despite a rigorous AP STEM course load, works as a certified lifeguard at the community pool, and somehow still finds time to help care for his seven siblings, often preparing meals and selling home-baked pies to support his hard-working single mom.
While he may or may not play golf in college, Jesse has plans to go far with interests in engineering, architecture and biological technology.
“This scholarship will help provide a way for many opportunities in my college future and help me achieve my goals in life and in the amazing game of golf,” Brendle says. “I want to thank Duke’s and Cascade Golfer for the opportunity to be a part of this award, and I’m so thankful they choose me as one of the winners.”
We found out about Colin and Jesse because Cascade Golfer readers who know them reached out to let us know what amazing young men they are. If you have someone you think we should know about, send us a message on Facebook or email editor@cascadegolfer.com.
Nominees need not be the next Jordan Spieth, but simply have a committed love for the game of golf, plus outstanding academic and service records. We’ll choose one winner to announce in every issue of Cascade Golfer, and award that individual $1,000 courtesy of Duke’s Chowder House.
Who knows, the next winner of the Duke’s Junior Golf Scholarship could be sitting across the table from you right now!

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