Former Lipscomb golf standout Eric Ansett hasn’t taken much time to slow down following his graduation in May.
The Washington native is spending the summer playing in various amateur golf tournaments, with plans of turning professional in September.
“It’s been a solid summer so far,” Ansett said. “I’ve had a lot of top-20 (finishes). I feel like I’m getting better and getting close to some really high finishes.”
His pro timeline is still on track, as Ansett shot an 8-under 134 at Burning Tree Country Club on Monday in Decatur, Alabama. His performance qualified him for the U.S.Amateur, which is slated for Aug. 13-19 at Pebble Beach Golf Links and Spyglass Hill Golf Course in California.
Ansett has missed qualifying for the U.S. Amateur by less than two strokes each of the past three years, making Monday’s performance especially memorable.
“It was sick,” he said. “Honestly, a big reason why I stayed amateur is because I wanted one more chance to try to make the U.S. (Amateur). The second round was up and down, but I birded five of the last seven holes, and that’s what got me in.”
Ansett said he plans to turn professional following the U.S. Amateur, which will be televised by Fox Sports 1 and FOX. Although he hasn’t played in a U.S. Amateur before, he said he doesn’t believe the big stage will be too much for him.
“I’ve played in a ton of tournaments with all the best amateur golfers in the world, so this isn’t a huge step up in terms of level of play,” he said. “The goal is to always make match play, so hopefully I’ll play well enough to not have to sweat it out.”
When he turns pro, Ansett will join former Lipscomb teammates Dawson Armstrong and Stoney Crouch, who are both playing on the PGA Tour Canada – McKenzie Tour this summer. The trio of former Bisons are expected to participate in the Web.com Tour qualifying school in September.
“We’ll be back on the same level again,” Ansett said of the reunion. “You don’t have total control of where they send you, so I’m not sure if we’ll be at the same site. There are four stages, and you have to finish high enough in each stage to move on.”
Ansett is footing the ball for his own expenses until he drops his amateur status, which prevents golfers from accepting tournament prize money. Instead, he’s using his frequent-flyer miles and stringing together free meals from host families until September.
“I have so many people ask me, ‘Who the heck is paying for all of this?’” Ansett said. “It’s not as expensive as you might think. I’ve racked up so many miles over the years, so I get a lot of free flights.”
The two-time ASUN Men’s Golf Scholar-Athlete of the Year completed his bachelor’s degree in journalism this past spring with a 3.52 GPA. However, any thought of using that degree is currently on hold as Ansett attempts to make playing golf his full-time job.
“It feels good to be rewarded as a student and as a golfer,” he said. “School is something I worked hard at during my time at Lipscomb, and I’m proud of that.
“But the plan is to be playing golf for the foreseeable future.”
Photo courtesy of Lipscomb Athletics