A Queenstown golfer who won his first professional tournament last weekend got hooked on the game as a 14-year-old playing the small local Frankton course.
Jamie Anstiss, 23, won the Charles Tour’s Harewood Open by four strokes, producing an eagle on the par-five 16th on the final day to pull away from the field.
“It’s great to win that in his rookie [pro] year, that’s a big event,” Frankton Golf Centre coach Jamie McIsaac says.
“It’s an unbelievable result for him, but not unexpected by me and the people that know him.
“He’s got all it takes to be on a main tour, it’s only a matter of time, I reckon.
“He ticks all the boxes.”
Anstiss said after he was introduced to the Frankton course, “you couldn’t get me away from it after that. I loved it straight away”.
He then played regularly at Queenstown Golf Club’s Kelvin Heights course and Arrowtown.
Last year he returned from a three-year scholarship at Southeastern Louisiana Uni-versity in the United States, and was Louisiana’s state amateur champion in 2016.
Late last year he beat a star-studded field to win a pro-am at Arrowtown’s The Hills.
After turning pro in January, in just his second event, the Victorian Open, in Australia, he shared the lead after the first round, and in May he finished second in the Tahiti Inter-national Open.
McIsaac says Anstiss has got the work ethic to succeed.
“He’s just a smart guy, he knows what he needs to do and just goes about his business.
“He’s bloody fit – he works hard at his fitness – and he’s got a really good range of motion through his gym work.”
Queenstown Golf Club manager John Stephens adds: “There’s a lot of golfers with the ability, but he’s actually got the mindset.
“He doesn’t get over-awed, he’s very level-headed, he doesn’t throw his clubs.
“He’s just a consummate professional.”