SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — One of the most decorated players in South Dakota history is taking a swing at professional golf.

30 years after winning his first SDGA Amateur Championship, Ryan Jansa is hoping to become a fixture on the PGA TOUR Champions.

“I’m confident in my ability; I wouldn’t do it if I wasn’t,” 7-time SDGA Male Golfer of the Year Ryan Jansa said.

An 8-time amateur champion, Jansa will turn 50 next month, the minimum age requirement for the Champions Tour.

“When you look at it and say the one spot I haven’t really kind of pushed myself to is the ultimate level, which is obviously the PGA TOUR, the Champions Tour,” Jansa said.

Jansa is in for a challenge, forced to qualify week in and week out.

“Champions Tour is probably one of the most difficult tours to get in and get on because there’s so many that come off the PGA TOUR that have status that have kind of earned their way on and now that’s obviously my goal and my job is to try and earn my spot there,” Jansa said.

“You’ve got to make a lot of birdies out there, which I don’t think he’s scared to do, but now that they’re down to three qualifying spots out of those Monday qualifiers, it’s more difficult than it’s ever been,” Sanford International Tournament Director Davis Trosin said.

Trosin is the Sanford International Tournament Director.

“Might take a few to get the jitters out but know his game can stack up with the best of the golfers that come out here every year,” Trosin said.

Jansa will play in at least one event — the Sanford International — after receiving the first sponsor’s exemption for the 2023 tournament.

“The hometown vibe for me is just going to be unbelievable. It’s certainly going to be a week for me that I’ll remember until I’m in the ground, I’m sure,” Jansa said.

And he plans to be playing his best golf come September.

“If I can go out there and play like I know that I’m capable of playing, I guess history will tell the rest,” Jansa said.

Jansa plans to compete in eleven qualifying events leading up to the Sanford International, beginning with a tournament in Duluth, Georgia, in May. The Sanford International is September 11-17 at Minnehaha Country Club in Sioux Falls.