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Jeff Kolpack, Published August 17 2009

Pine to Palm: Anderson’s amazing run comes to end

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. – The run started in New Jersey, on a course named after Donald Trump. It continued to a national tournament in Ohio and then to the U.S. Women’s Amateur in St. Louis.

Late Sunday morning, the most prolific month in the history of area girls golf ended on the 12th green at the Detroit Country Club. It took a Texas Christian University golfer who threatened to win a Division I championship – Tom Hoge – to stop the Amy Anderson Express.

The final in the semifinals of the Pine to Palm golf tournament was 7 and 6, but her legacy was already established in the 77th annual event. A pastor of a church near the Detroit Country Club even offered the congregation a prayer for her on Sunday morning.

“A lot of people told me they were so glad a girl finally did this,” Anderson said.

“I got a lot of nice support from people and from a lot of people who never had been out here before. They told me I was an inspiration for either them or their daughter.”

Inspiration came on July 25 when the 17-year-old from Oxbow, N.D., won the U.S. Girls Junior at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J. She finished 10th at the PGA Junior a few days later.

She shot a 68 in the opening round of the U.S. Women’s Amateur at Old Warson Country Club in St. Louis to lead the qualifying round by one stroke. Earlier this week, she became the first female to qualify for the championship round of the Pine.

“We’ve been all over the place,” said Nathan Anderson, her brother and caddy. “It didn’t do much for my own golf game but I would do it again in a heartbeat.”

The key in the last month, he said, was her accurate putting. Ironically, it failed her against Hoge.

“I was not on top of my game, but it was fun to watch him play,” she said. “My putting completely shut off today. This tournament is no guarantee. I did the best I could but today I lost – big.”

Now it’s on to North Dakota State, where both Andersons signed letters of intent. Classes start in two weeks. The Bison women’s program rarely gets this much publicity mileage out of one player – and she hasn’t even officially joined the team yet.

“It was great,” she said. “I had a lot of fun out there and that’s what it’s all about.”

Jeff Kolpack can be heard on the WDAY Golf Show, 10 a.m. to noon on WDAY-AM (970). He can be reached at (701) 241-5546. Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia