Former Southeastern Louisiana golfer James Anstiss set to tee off at U.S. Amateur

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HAMMOND, La. – Former Southeastern Louisiana golfer James Anstiss will look to follow in the footsteps of some of the game’s greats when he wraps up his American amateur career at the United States Amateur this week.

Anstiss, who completed his three-year Lion career this past season, qualified for the Amateur after tying for medalist honors at the qualifier at Tchefuncta Country Club in Covington last month. He will become the first Lion to play in the Amateur since Grady Brame Jr. in 2012.

“It was a great feeling,” Anstiss, a native of Queenstown, New Zealand, said of qualifying. “I’ve had a really good summer. My game has been trending really nicely and this is a nice way to top off my summer.”

Stroke play for the 117th edition of the U.S. Amateur will take place Monday and Tuesday with each golfer playing a round at The Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades and Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles. The low 64 scorers will advance to match play which begins Wednesday at Riviera. The 36-hole final is scheduled for Sunday.

Anstiss is in the first group to start from the 10th tee at Bel-Air at 7 a.m. on Monday.

Anstiss got a look at both courses earlier this month and played in San Diego this past week to prepare for the tournament, which features 312 golfers from 29 countries and 39 states. In the field are 14 golfers who competed in the U.S. Open in June and four in the British Open in July. Among the past winners of the oldest USGA championship are Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods.

It’s just an honor to just play in it, but to do well is really going to give me confidence going forward,” Anstiss said. “To see the people who have played in it and who have won and how their careers have gone, it’s pretty special.”

Anstiss is hoping to etch his name on that list before beginning his professional career.

“I’m there to win,” Anstiss said. “I’m feeling good about my game. I just want to get into the top 64 and into match play and anything can happen then.”

Anstiss had a 74.17 stroke average over 30 rounds during the 2016-17 season in being named second-team All-Southland Conference. He recorded five top 20s, including three top 10s. He tied for 14th at the Southland Conference Championships and also finished in a five-way tie for second at 7-under 209 at the All-American Intercollegiate against a field that included four teams ranked in the top 40. He went on to finish fifth at the Louisiana Golf Association Amateur Championship in June after winning the event in 2016.

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