Jacksonville State’s team did not advance, but Anderson, a native of Hertfordshire, England, was one of 10 individuals selected to participate in the Baton Rouge (La.) Regional, which will be hosted by LSU and played on the University Club of Baton Rouge from May 16-18.
The low individual not on a qualifying team in each regional will advance to the NCAA championships at Atlanta’s Capital City Club from May 28-June 2. He is the first Gamecocks golfer to receive an at-large individual bid since Danny Willett earned one in 2007.
“Tomasz had a good enough ranking that it would have been tough for him not to get in,” JSU head coach James Hobbs said. “I told Tomasz that he played his way in, and that gives you some indication of what kind of season he had.”
Anderson didn’t expect the opportunity until Hobbs mentioned recently he thought he had a chance. Anderson said he was excited to find out Monday evening he had received a bit.
“I’ve worked really hard all season and am thankful for this opportunity from the NCAA to have this chance to compete for the national championship,” he said. “Without JSU and my teammates pushing me, I wouldn’t have had this chance.”
It will be his second straight appearance in the NCAA regionals after he led JSU to the Bowling Green, Ky., Regional as the Ohio Valley Conference champions as a freshman last season.
“Last year was like a step-up for us,” Anderson said. “Having another year of experience, I feel like I’ve matured as a person and my game has improved. That will hopefully help me go out there and post three low scores.”
The University Club is one Hobbs hopes will be favorable to Anderson and his game. The JSU men have played on the course, as have the Gamecocks women, who competed in the 2007 NCAA East Regional there.
“I was hoping that he would get a chance and now that he got that chance, I think Baton Rouge is the perfect regional for him in this year’s field,” Hobbs said. “It is a course that I know very well. I’ve been on it several times with my boys and the girls, and I think it is one that Tomasz will like and will suit his game. If you strike the ball well, it is a course in which you can score. I think it is the perfect for Tomasz.”
Anderson picked up his second-straight All-OVC honor as a sophomore after finishing fourth in the league with a 72.4 stroke average. He won medalist honors in his final two regular season events before finishing eighth in the OVC tournament. He won six OVC male golfer of the week honors this season in just nine regular-season events.