BILLINGS — Eryn Ellis has a simple philosophy on the golf course.
“The goal is the hole, man,” Ellis said.
And Ellis hit that goal quicker than anyone in the 102-year history of the Montana Women’s State Am last week. She won the tournament at 5-under par, the first woman to ever finish the tournament under par.
But it wasn’t good enough for her.
“Yeah, I wish it was double digits though,” Ellis told MTN Sports after clinching the championship. “I think it’s awesome, because I think that’s the first tournament I’ve ever finished under par. (Friday) was a personal record, too, because I’ve never shot below 68, so that was really fun. It was a fun day.”
Ellis was talking about Friday’s second round when she shot a 7-under 67. It felt like the culmination of a decade of renewed love for the sport.
“There was a time where I hated golf, like a four-year span where I hated golf — end of elementary, early middle school,” she said. “And then I realized, ‘Oh, golf can maybe pay for college.’ So I started playing golf again, and I’m super competitive, so it’s great that I can compete against myself.”
She basically was in Saturday’s final round. Even though Ellis won the tournament by eight shots, her first thought after shooting 79 was?
“Honestly, I might go practice because I didn’t play that well, and I have a lot to work on,” she deadpanned.
Ellis has had a dream since her ah-hah moment in middle school – to play at golf’s highest level on the LPGA. She’s headed to Q-School Stage 1 in California next month with all the game and the confidence in the world.
“I believe I can do it,” Ellis said. “Nancy called me skinny. She’s like, ‘Look how skinny she is!’ And I’m like ‘What are you talking about? I’m strong!'”
“It’s going to be a hard road, and I’m well aware of that. It’s been a hard road all my life,” she said. “To prove that you’re good enough on the scoreboard, on the leaderboards, on the golf course to yourself, especially, that’s the hardest part. The ball will go where it goes. You can’t do anything about that. All that matters is from here to here, and that’s it.”
It’s a simple philosophy that Ellis is close to perfecting.