Two Chicago high school golfers were surprised with a personalized letter written and signed by Tiger Woods at a scholarship ceremony held at the Jackson Park Fieldhouse on April 29.
Tim Arrington, a senior at Kenwood Academy High School in Hyde Park, received the Western Golf Associations Evans Scholarship and will be attending Marquette University. Abdel Raoul, a senior at Mount Carmel High School in Woodlawn, received an academic and athletic scholarship to play golf at Prarie View A&M University.
While the ceremony to celebrate their scholarships was expected, the letter from Woods was not.
“Tiger has been my role model on the golf course, and with the greatness he brings, it’s an honor,” Raoul said. “I’m truly grateful. Nobody told me this would happen, and with everybody showing up, I was absolutely surprised.”
Congrats Tim Arrington & Abdel Raoul and thanks to all who joined yesterday’s Scholarship Celebration. pic.twitter.com/tnq4IE0zDR
— ChiParksGolfAlliance (@ChiGolfAlliance) April 30, 2019
Woods’ letter read, “Congratulations to you both. I am very impressed by your accomplishments. Tim, well done earning a prestigious Evans Scholarship and I wish you the best of luck at Marquette University. This scholarship shows the hard work, dedication and academic commitment you made while working at Jackson Park.
“Abdel, my best wishes to you as you fulfill your dream of earning a Division I academic and golf scholarship. I know your scholastic and golfing talents will be evident to everyone at Prairie View A&M University.
“Along with excelling in golf, Tim and Abdel are interested in pursuing medicine and mechanical engineering, respectively. You could not ask for two better representatives of this community. Tim and Abdel, I’m proud of you.
“All the best, Tiger Woods.”
April showers couldn’t dampen the Jackson Park Scholarship Celebration (moved indoors). @ChicagoParks Superintendent Mike Kelly, Chicago’s 5th Ward Alderman Leslie Hairston, AND 15 TIME MAJOR CHAMPION @TigerWoods echoed community members’ honors to Tim Arrington & Abdel Raoul. pic.twitter.com/38dFly2dm2
— Mark Rolfing (@MarkRolfingGC) April 30, 2019
“Ever since I became a caddie, this is what it has been for,” Arrington said. “I am going to use the Evans Scholarship to change the world. Since it changed my life, I have to change other people’s lives.
“My mother and I have been struggling a little bit. To have this opportunity with all these people supporting me and to have Tiger Woods noticing the progress we’ve made, that’s amazing. That’s awesome.”
Words can’t express how proud I am of the 5th Ward’s very own Tim Arrington & Abdel Raoul but I will try.
— Leslie Hairston (@5thWardChicago) May 6, 2019
Raoul plans to attend Prarie View as a mechanical engineering student while Arrington plans to study at Marquette and will receive tuition and housing for four years, based on his academic achievement, personal character, financial need and work as a Jackson Park caddie.