After three major moves so far in his life, UT golfer Rick Lamb has found a home on Rocky Top.
"It's definitely been a pretty crazy last seven to eight years," Lamb said. "I guess I've lived in four or five different spots, but it's been cool to see so many different golf courses, meet lots of different people and making connections have been pretty beneficial to me."
Lamb, a South Bend, Ind., native, moved to Bradenton, Fla., to finish out his high school career. The senior then chose Santa Clara University – 2,900 miles away from his Florida home – for his college career.
But after two years on the west coast Lamb wasn't pleased with how his career was going and the mood around the Santa Clara program.
"It wasn't quite what had been promised to me," he said. "I tried to stick it out but it didn't pan out. There were a couple things, but the program just wasn't where I wanted it to be and where I wanted to be."
He eventually chose Tennessee, but the Big Orange wasn't the only school in the Southeast the younger golfer had his eye on.
"I went on a couple visits to SEC schools and I narrowed it down to Virginia, North Carolina, Southern Methodist University and Tennessee," he said. "I went for a visit (to those schools), checked it out and everyone had a pretty good practice facility, but it seemed like Tennessee's was head and shoulders above everyone else's. I also got along with the coaches and the guys. I liked where the team was heading."
Lamb's junior year didn't start the way he would have hoped – two top 25 finishes in his first seven tournaments. Moving to a new school and self imposed pressure is what Lamb attributes to his early season play, but he was happy with the way he concluded the year.
"Last year I struggled a bit because I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to perform when I first got here," he said. "I felt I needed to prove I belonged here and I think I got too hard on myself and it got away from me.
However, he finished the season with three top 10 finishes.
"I lost some confidence and it spiraled downhill, but I went back and figured it out," he said. "I had a good tournament and it started to turn around."
The senior is coming off his first win of this year after posting a total score of 207 in the Gifford Collegiate Tournament.
Lamb was rushed to the tournament due to playing in an amateur tournament that finished the day before.
"I finished that tournament on Sunday and started our tournament on Monday," he said. "I think it helped me getting into a tournament mindset."
But he believes the amateur event and "comfort" helped him win his second career event.
"I think it helped me getting into a tournament mindset. It's tough to get back into competition after two months break since the last event."
Off the course, Lamb likes to spend most of his time just relaxing.
"I'm playing golf a lot and traveling so when I do get a break I find myself just relaxing and hanging out ... I work out and put a lot toward golf and don't have time for much else."
During his high school days and when he returns to Florida, Lamb enjoys hitting the beach and the waves.
"When I was in Florida I liked (to) surf a lot and had a lot of fun doing that," he said. "The beach was a big hangout and it's always nice to be outside."
He is a senior though, and he has high hopes for his career when he leaves the collegiate ranks.
"Whenever I graduate I plan on staying amateur through summer and try and get on the Walker Cup – which is the equivalent of the Ryder Cup for amateurs – and it's a big deal for amateurs," he said.
He then hopes to go to Q-School – Qualifying School for the PGA Tour – and eventually make it onto Tour.