May 17, 2018 - by
Confidence, Experience Abound As Women’s Golf Begins NCAA Championships

Florida State Notes / Kim and Morgane Metraux — Leaving A Legacy At Florida State / A Phone Call By Doherty Led To Her Becoming A Seminole / Kayla Jones — A Bond Between Sisters And Seminoles / Kim Metraux has Created A Lasting Legacy At Florida State / Morgane Metraux: College Is A Learning Process / Jones Finds Success As An FSU Golfer; Becomes An FSU Graduate

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A year ago, while in the midst of a second consecutive run to the NCAA women’s golf championships, Florida State coach Amy Bond told her players to take a breath and enjoy themselves, and that years like the one they were having don’t come around very often.

Turns out that Bond might have been selling herself and her program just a little bit short.

Because despite losing two key players from last year’s team – record-breaking senior Matilda Castren and steady senior Lydia Gumm – the Seminoles are here again, at NCAA championships with a chance to claim a national title.

This trip to the finals is a piece of history in and of itself: For the first time in school history, the Seminoles are making their third straight trip to their sport’s biggest stage.

 

FSU tees off Thursday for the first of three rounds at Karsten Creek in Stillwater, Okla. After 72 holes, the top eight teams will compete in another round of match play to determine the national champion.

“I think we’ve created a new standard here at Florida state, which is really awesome,” said senior Kayla Jones, who will be competing in the NCAA championships for the second time.

“I think it’s kind of expected that we be there.”

That wasn’t necessarily the case when Jones and fellow seniors Kim and Morgane Metraux arrived at Florida State in the fall of 2014.

Back then, the Seminoles were four years removed from their most recent finals appearance and hadn’t advanced beyond so much as the ACC tournament in 10 of the last 12 seasons.

But with Bond leading the renovation effort, the program used a keen eye on both the domestic and international golf circuits to attract an influx of talented players to Tallahassee.

With a blend of players from around the globe – Castren hailed from Finland, the Metrauxs from Switzerland and Gumm from Kentucky – the Seminoles quickly reversed their fortunes.

In 2016, Bond’s sixth year at the helm, the Seminoles made their first NCAA tournament since 2010 and haven’t looked back since.

They finished tied for 15ththat year, and, on the heels of perhaps the best season in school history – the Seminoles won six tournaments and were ranked No. 1 in the country – made another run to the finals in 2017.

That led to the current campaign, in which a trio of seniors, a sophomore and a freshman have helped to ensure that the program’s new standard didn’t slip.

“They have basically helped change the evolution of our program from a team that’s probably (ranked) in the mid-30s to a team that’s consistently in the Top 25. To me, it’s a special group altogether, but one that I’m going to miss when they leave.”

While the NCAA championships represents the end for Jones and the Metrauxs, each senior is hoping to finish their collegiate careers in strong fashion when they hit the course Friday.

And they’ve got plenty of experience on which they can rely.

Between Jones, both Metrauxs, and sophomore Amanda Doherty, the Seminoles will have a combined six NCAA finals appearances by the end of the week.

Which means that the one newcomer, freshman Kathleen Sumner, will have no shortage of teammates to lean on should the need arise.

“We’ve got four of the five that have played in a national championship before, so, to me, that’s big,” Bond said. “Because they know exactly what’s going to happen, day to day.”

And, for the first time in the last three years, Bond feels that the Seminoles might be hitting their stride at the best possible time.

FSU finished second in last week’s NCAA Tallahassee Regional and, entering this week’s competition, each member of Florida State’s starting lineup ranks in the school’s all-time top 10 for career stroke average.

“I really feel that we are peaking at the right time,” Bond said. “There’s a lot of confidence going into this week, which is always important.

“Confidence is the biggest thing.”

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