Golf's Ricard Qualifies for U.S. Amateur

by Will Stafford (@WillStaffordLSU)
Golf's Ricard Qualifies for U.S. Amateur

BATON ROUGE – Members of LSU’s national champion men’s golf team continue to shine while playing their summer schedules as sophomore All-American and All-SEC standout Eric Ricard earned a spot in the field for the United States Amateur Championship for the first time in his career as the top qualifier at Carter Plantation in Springfield last week.

Ricard will tee it up at the 115th U.S. Amateur Championship next month after firing rounds of 5-under 67 and 2-under 70 to tie for the top spot in the field of 56 at Carter Plantation on July 13.

A native of Shreveport, Louisiana, Ricard most recently posted an unbeaten 2-0-1 mark in match play to help lead the Tigers to the fifth national championship in program history at the 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships held at Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Florida, in early June. He was also a catalyst in guiding the Tigers to their 16th SEC Championship this spring.

Ricard enjoyed a breakout sophomore season with the Tigers in 2014-15 while being named a PING Honorable Mention All-American and Second-Team All-SEC performer as one of the top players in college golf.

He will now compete in one of the premier amateur tournaments worldwide as the 115th U.S. Amateur Championship will be held Aug. 17-23 at Olympia Fields Country Club outside of Chicago. Olympia Fields boasts an impressive history while playing host to four major championships all-time, including the U.S. Open in 1928 and 2003 and the PGA Championship in 1925 and 1961.

“I couldn’t be happier to win the national championship and then make it to the U.S. Am,” Ricard told Roy Lang III of The Shreveport Times following his qualifying performance. “It’s been a great summer so far, and it’s great to finally make this tournament after four or five tries. Hopefully I’ll be able to carry some of the experiences I’ve learned at the national championship to the (U.S.) Am.”

While Ricard tied for the top spot in the field to earn one of two qualifying spots into the U.S. Amateur in his qualifier at Carter Plantation last week, he overcame former LSU Tiger Brandon Aydlett to do so with Aydlett holding the first-round lead with an opening score of 6-under par 66. The former Tiger letterwinner finished three shots back of Ricard after posting a 2-over 74 in the afternoon for a 36-hole score of 4-under 140.