Henryville senior Evan Embry was the medalist during last week’s Southern Indiana Open at Hidden Creek with a one-over-par 73. It was the 10th time he has been a tournament medalist this season. Embry is also a fortunate survivor of the March 2 tornado that tore through southern Indiana.
The Courier-Journal: What’s been the biggest improvement in your game this season?
Evan Embry: The biggest thing for me over the last couple of years is I’ve matured a lot and became more confident in my game. It’s trusting my game and knowing what I can do. I’ve put in a lot of time practicing my short game, and that’s where you score in golf. I’m beginning to learn that.
C-J: Are there professionals you like to watch for pointers?
Embry: Everybody likes Tiger (Woods), but I really like Rory McIlroy. His swing is basically flawless, and I like the way he carries himself.
C-J: What do you enjoy away from golf?
Embry: I like to hang out with my family. They’ve been a big part of my life. They’ve supported me all the way through golf, they’ve given me what I need to be successful. Ever since I was 4 or 5 years old, I was going out to the course with my dad, and he’s been a big part of my golf career.
C-J: Your uncle (Robin) is your high school coach. How does that relationship work on the course?
Embry: On the course, it’s just like any coach-player relationship. Off the course, our families are together a lot and we spend a lot of time together. We talk about golf a lot.
C-J: Almost everyone in Henryville was impacted by the tornado on March 2. What is your story?
Embry: My girlfriend and I left the high school about 2:45, and we heard there was a tornado spotted in west Clark County. We headed to my house, and my parents were there. We don’t have a basement, and the radar didn’t really show it was coming toward us, but my father decided we needed to go to a basement just to be safe. So we headed out to my uncle’s house.
On our way there, we saw it coming. Once we got to my uncle’s house, there was a tornado about 400 yards from us and it was chasing us down the road. So when we got to the house, we were going to open the garage – which led down to the basement – but the power had already gone out and the keyless entry wouldn’t work on the garage door. So my dad decided the best thing was to jump behind a 2-foot retaining wall, so all of us got down behind that as the tornado went over the top of us.
C-J: How frightening was that moment?
Embry: It was definitely the scariest thing in my life. It was the one time in life I thought I might actually die. There was destruction all around, trees down everywhere.
C-J: Has it been difficult to put that day behind you?
Embry: I still think about it, how lucky we are. The first couple of weeks were tough because you just keep playing it over in your head. Now I’m trying to get away from it because I don’t like thinking about it too much. It will always be there.
C-J:What do you love about the game of golf?
Embry: The biggest thing is it’s all on your own. I like basketball and other team sports, but in golf you’re in control of everything. You’re not playing against anybody else, it’s just against yourself and you control what you do. It’s one of the most frustrating and challenging sports, but at the same time it’s the most rewarding. All it takes is hard work and dedication.
C-J: What are your goals for the state tournament?
Embry: Last year I missed going to the state by one stroke. So this year I have my goals set high. Hopefully I can be the sectional, regional and state champion. That’s the ultimate goal of course, but mainly I just want to get to the state finals. From there, we’ll see what we can do.
— Justin Sokeland
EVAN EMBRY UP CLOSE
Family: Parents Roger and Rhonda; sisters Alyson (21) and Amanda (20)
Student/athlete: Evan also played basketball and soccer, and he is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He plans to major in business or sports management in college.
Coach Robin Embry: “The key is Evan’s a good person. He’s a young man with great work ethic and a high-character kid. You have to have that before you can excel at anything. On the course, his short game has really improved. Some college coach will look really smart when they sign him.”