TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – It’s Spring Break on the Florida State campus this week but that hasn’t stopped the No. 17 Seminole women’s golf team from staying focused on their goals of continuing to improve each day and positioning themselves for upcoming ACC and NCAA Championships.
Florida State is ranked in the top 25 of the national rankings by both Golfstat (No. 17) and GolfWeek (No. 21) as they travel to play in the 3M Lady Jaguar Invitational at the Forest Hill Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. The three-round (54 holes) event begins Friday and runs through Sunday. It marks the Seminoles’ first appearance in the event and will be, according the sixth-year head coach Amy Bond, a great challenge for her rapidly developing team.
“The 3M Lady Jaguar Invitational is a really good event for us to play in,” said Bond. “The Forest Hills Golf Club is a Donald Ross course – the world renowned designer who also laid out the course at the Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro where we will play the ACC Championships in April. This course holds similar design effects as the course at Sedgefield so we are looking forward to playing well and getting a small jump on preparing for our conference championships.”
The Seminoles have prepared well for each of their events this season. Florida State, which earned runner-up status in the team standings at last week’s Gator Women’s Invitational, has finished in the top two of each of its last six events with team championships coming at the Jacksonville Classic in September and the Florida State Match-Up in February. At the Gator Invitational, the Seminoles played the best final round in the 13-team field to vault themselves from a tie for fourth in the team standings after two rounds into second place in the final standings.
The Seminoles enter the 3M Lady Jaguar Invitational as the highest ranked team in the field and as one of four teams ranked in the nation’s top 35. Other ranked teams include No. 21 Texas A&M, No. 33 Furman and No. 35 East Carolina. The Seminoles finished ahead of both the Aggies and the Lady Paladins at the Florida State Match-Up in Tallahassee.
Team captain Lydia Gumm says the 2016 Seminoles are as close a team as she has ever played on and that has a lot to do with their success heading into the heart of their schedule.
“I believe that much of our success can be attributed to idea that we are all one big family,” said Gumm. “Our team chemistry is better than it ever has been and I love playing beside all of my teammates. We are sisters in every sense of the word and we really enjoy each other.”
That sense of family has certainly showed on the course and in the Seminoles’ results.
Sophomore Morgane Metraux finished in a tie for third and her sister, Kim, finished in a tie for seventh in the individual standings at the Gator Invitational. With the Metraux sisters finishing in the top-10 of the individual standings, Florida State was one of only three teams in the event that had multiple players finish in the top 10 of the individual standings.
Morgane Metraux, who carded her career best score of 67 in the second round and who earned the top finish of her Seminole career at the Gator Invitational, is playing the best golf of her two-year collegiate career.
”My short game as been a key for me lately,” said Metraux. “I have put in a lot of work at practice both chipping and putting and am becoming more comfortable every day with my game. Trusting my short game on the course allows me to be a little more relaxed and even a bit more aggressive because I know that if I miss a green I know I can get it up and down for par.”
Bond sees that confidence in each member of her team and enjoys what she is seeing.
“With confidence comes success and with success comes confidence,” said Bond. “I like the collective mindset of our team and I love where we are as players and as a team right now. We are moving forward and hope to be right where we want to be a month from now when the ACC Championship comes into focus.”
Until then, it’s time for a little enjoyment before getting down to business when the Seminoles tee-off at the 3M Lady Jaguar Invitational at 9:30 on Friday morning.
That fun included a stop at the Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coca-Cola and a trip to see Augusta National – the mecca of golf – once they arrived in northeast Georgia.
“This is a fun event for us that puts us in Augusta a month before the Master’s,” said Bond. The Master’s is the best event of the year for a golfer and it was great for our girls to see one of the most historic sites in the world for golf.”
After all – it is Spring Break on the Florida State campus.