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Jeff Kolpack, Published October 11 2012

Kolpack: Amy Anderson a well-known name around here

Fargo - The North Dakota State women’s golf team leaves in two weeks for a tournament in Hawaii, which will be yet another adventure for the team’s best player. In the last five months, Amy Anderson has been to the Czech Republic, Scotland and all over the United States in the name of golf.

It’s probably a safe bet people don’t know her from Eve in those places. But here at home? She’s a recognizable star who is approaching a status of the most rock-solid role models this community has produced.

It took some begging and pleading – stopping just short of an open records request on my own company – but I obtained advanced permission to release the results of one category in The Forum’s annual “Best of the Red River Valley” contest. All results won’t be published until Oct. 26, but we’ll give you a sneak preview of “best local sports star.”

Just one week after being mentioned in the same breath as legendary LPGA golfer Juli Inkster, Anderson is third on that list behind Matt Cullen and Roger Maris. The fact a

20-year-old female college student is that well thought of already says a lot.

“That’s pretty amazing,” said Lisa Schwinden, the head professional at Osgood Golf Course in Fargo, also a ringleader in promoting area girls golf. “It shows how much she’s done that people around here know her that well and recognize her with worldwide celebrities.”

“She’s going to start looking at getting sponsorships for the LPGA Tour, so the more people know her, the better.”

The names of Maris and Cullen have raised millions for local charities. Amy represents the new generation of local sports star, something she takes seriously.

“It’s a lot of responsibility on your shoulders,” she said. “I try to do my best to be a good role model. A lot of athletes don’t take it as seriously as they should. It’s an important part that I’ve been given.”

Plus, a role model is not an eight-hour-a-day job. It’s 24/7/365.

“Not that it should matter if you’re an athlete or non-athlete, you can’t let your guard down at any time,” Anderson said. “Whether it’s a professor or students or people in the community or on the golf course, there will always be people watching.”

When she won the South Dakota State Jackrabbit Invitational last week, it was her 16th collegiate tournament win, which puts her one away from Inkster, who won 17 in her career at San Jose State from 1979-82. But not so fast, Amy says.

She pointed out that two of her wins were at the Concordia Invitational, which doesn’t count as a Division I tournament win. How’s that for a role model? She could have lavished in being one win from catching Inkster, yet in the spirit of golf – the gentleman’s game – she questioned the accuracy of it.

“I’d love to shoot (for the record), but I think it will take three more wins,” she said.

Inkster went on to win 31 LPGA titles, seven major championships and total more than $11 million in career earnings. A native of Santa Cruz Calif., she would probably get voted a “Best of Something” in her hometown.

“She’s someone I’d like to imitate my career after,” Anderson said.

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546. Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia