TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – Florida State University will be represented by an NCAA-high four women’s golfers – senior Matilda Castren, juniors Kim and Morgane Metraux and sophomore Dominika Gradecka – when the 27th Women’s World Amateur Team Championships begin Wednesday in Riviera Maya, Mexico. A fifth Seminole – Maria Salinas – who played at Florida State from 2010-12 will represent Peru in the event. She makes her fourth career appearance in the WWATC as a record 55 teams will compete for the coveted Espirito Santo Trophy.
The event will take place at the Mayakoba El Camaleon and the Iberostar Playa Paraiso Golf Clubs. The WWATC is hosted by the International Golf Federation, an organization recognized as the world governing body for golf in over 140 countries. The event began in 1958 with 115 players representing 29 countries and will be contested among a record 55 teams in 2016.
Florida State is the only school with four current players competing in the WWATC. Miami, NC State, Wake Forest (all from the ACC) and Arkansas have three current players in the event.
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to go to the World Amateur,” said Seminole head coach Amy Bond. “This is a tournament where the best three players from each country are chosen to participate. I am excited to go support four of our current Seminoles along with a former Seminole. As a coach I am extremely proud of our players for working so hard and being chosen to represent their countries. To have five players participating in this incredibly prestigious event is a tremendous honor for them and for our program.”
Castren, who holds the all-time record for the best stroke average in Seminole history will represent Finland in the event for the second time in her career. She competed in the 2014 WWATC finishing with a 13-over par score of 301.
“It is a great honor to compete at the world amateur team championships in Mexico,” said Castren. “It is one of the biggest if not the biggest, tournament of the year for amateurs, which makes it even more exciting to be competing here in Mexico. I am looking forward to a great week of golf.”
Sisters Kim, and Morgane Metraux are both playing in their second WWATC after making their first appearances in Japan two years ago. The younger Morgane shot 62 (10-under par) in the 2016 Ladies European Championship in Sweden. Kim earned All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors in 2016. The Metraux sisters will represent Switzerland in the event.
“This is going to be such a great week,” said Kim Metraux. “The courses we are playing on are incredible. I can’t wait for the tournament to start and am extremely happy to play for my country. I will definitely enjoy this experience and am confident that my teammates and myself will play well and bring a good result for our country.”
Morgane, who has earned two top-20 NCAA regional championship finishes during her career, is also excited about playing in the event for a second time.
“It is always an honor and a privilege to play for your country,” said Morgane Metraux. “The WWATC is more special than any other tournament because it is only a biennial event and it is the only world championship there is in amateur golf. Everything is so special and unique at the event, the excitement is growing and I am eager to begin play. I feel like I don’t only represent my country but Florida State also because there are so many college players in the event.”
Gradecka will also make her second WWATC appearance for her home country of Poland. Poland is the only team in this year’s event to return the same players who competed in the WWATC Japan in 2014. Gradecka will play alongside Nastasia Kossacky, a freshman at Auburn University and Dorota Zalewska, the team’s youngest player.
“I always feel honored and proud to have the opportunity to represent my country,” said Gradecka. “I hope to show the best skills I have to offer.”
Florida State golfers have achieved success in this event.
In 2006, Seminole All-American Caroline Westrup led Sweden to a second place finish while also winning the individual world championship. Westrup finished with an eight-under par score of 280.
The teams competing in the championships will have two or three players that play 18 holes of stroke play for four days. The total of the two lowest scores from each team will make up the team score for that round and the four-day (72-hole) total will be the team’s ultimate score.
Australia, the defending champion, is playing to become the first team to win consecutive WWATC titles since the Republic of Korea in 2010 and 2012.