Before Evan Eissens wraps up his academic career at Sauk Valley Community College, he’s got some unfinished business to take care of athletically.
A sophomore from Fulton, Eissens will be in the field at the NJCAA Division II men’s golf national championship. It will be held May 20-23 at the Swan Lake Resort in Plymouth, Ind.
“It’s really exciting to make it,” said Eissens, who averaged 78.2 strokes per 18 holes this past fall. “It was definitely one of my goals going into junior college golf. It’s going to be just like a PGA Tour event – two practice rounds, four regular rounds – so it’s going to be a full week.”
Eissens qualified for the tournament last October after finishing fifth individually in the Region IV Tournament held at PrairieView Golf Course in Byron. His 3-round total of 239 was good enough to secure the fifth and the final individual qualifying spot.
Teammate Cody Tiesman finished a stroke back, and is a first alternate to make the trip to nationals.
Since last fall, Eissens has been a regular in the fitness center at SVCC, and added 15 to 20 pounds of muscle to a slightly built frame. His drives now approach the 300-yard mark.
“I feel like I’m hitting the ball probably 20 to 30 yards farther than last fall,” Eissens said, “and that’s helped my game. I feel like I’m definitely ready for it.”
Next fall, Eissens will attend Trinity Christian College, an NAIA school located in Palos Heights. He’ll be getting $9,000 a year in aid to play golf for the Trolls, and will room with a current Fulton High School senior, Matt Dail, who is going to Trinity Christian to play golf and basketball.
The juco national golf tournament is often a proving ground of sorts for players looking to find their next home. Eissens won’t have that burden.
“I’m happy with where I’m going,” Eissens said, “and that pretty much takes the pressure off. I can just stay in the moment and compete for that week, and not really worry about it, because I know I have a place to play next fall.”
Eissens plans to major in communications, but is unsure what career he wants to pursue. This summer, he plans to do an internship with an uncle, Kameron Mogadam, who is a freelance photographer. Among his credits are numerous pro golf tournaments, as well as spots for the 30 for 30 series on ESPN.
“It will be fun this summer, seeing what that’s like,” Eissens said.
High school: Fulton, class of 2012
College: Sauk Valley
FYI: Averages 78.2 strokes for Skyhawks. ... Qualified for Division II junior college nationals next month in Plymouth, Ind. ... Will play at Trinity Christian College this fall.