2017 was an incredibly special season filled with so many firsts for the Florida State Women’s Golf team.
The Seminoles were ranked first in the nation, won six tournament championships, had four players named to the All-ACC team, led the nation in scoring average vs. par, led the nation in par 5 scoring and Head Coach Amy Bond was named the ACC Coach of the Year.
“Our players worked hard to enjoy a historic season,” said Bond. “They committed themselves to being great from the start – and that’s exactly what they were – great from the beginning to the end. There are so many positives we enjoyed throughout the season. The program is now on a different level because of what these players accomplished this season.”
Florida State won its first tournament of the season and went on to win an unprecedented six tournaments to tie for the national lead. Never before had any team in Florida State history won more than five events in a single season. Not even the Seminoles’ 1981 A.I.A.W. National Championship team.
“I thought that winning the Schooner in our first event of the season was a great accomplishment,” said Bond. “But I had no idea of the success that was ahead of us. The Schooner is such a special event for our program and to win it was fantastic. Winning that championship really set the tone for our team.”
With the championship at the Schooner Fall Classic came lofty national rankings – very lofty rankings. The Seminoles moved into the nation’s top five and spent the remainder of the season ranked among the nation’s top five teams. Florida State took over the nation’s No 1 ranking after winning the Jim West Challenge and the Cardinal Cup.
“Those three wins in the fall lit a fire amongst our players that I had never seen before,” said Bond. “It was exciting to see them not wanting the fall season to end and practicing to continue their improvement. As a coach, that was one of most satisfying feelings I have ever had – when players realize what they need to work on and take it upon themselves to improve their games.”
Their desire to improve paid off as the Seminoles continued to play as one of the nation’s best teams to begin the spring season. Florida State won the Florida State Match-Up for the second consecutive year to begin the spring. Two weeks later they won the Dickson Intercollegiate.
And it wasn’t as if they were just squeaking by their competition, they were out-distancing them by record numbers. Including their win at the Dickson, the Seminoles had played 17 of their 23 rounds under-par, had finished six of their eight tournaments with an under-par team score and were a cumulative total of 87 strokes under par for the year. Individually, the Seminoles had carded 29 rounds in the 60’s, 52 rounds under-par and totaled more than half of their rounds (67 of 125) at par or better.
The Seminoles’ success did not stop there.
They continued to storm the college golf world with a third place finish at the Notre Dame Clover Cup, the team championship at the Clemson Invitational (in incredible comeback fashion), defeated Florida one on one in match play and tied the school record with a second place finish in the ACC Championship tournament. Florida State nearly won its first ACC Championship as it pulled even with perennial powerhouse Duke as both teams made the turn for the final side of the final round.
The Seminoles then earned the highest NCAA regional seed in school history (No. 2) and finished in third place in the NCAA Columbus Regional Championship before earning their second consecutive top-20 finish at the NCAA National Championship Finals.
The core group of five players who helped lift the Seminoles to such incredible heights – seniors Matilda Castren and Lydia Gumm, juniors Kim and Morgane Metraux and freshman Amanda Doherty – will long be remembered as the group that changed the face of the Seminole program.
Castren, a three-time All-ACC honoree, closed her career by setting school records for low stroke average, most individual wins and most top-five and top-10 finishes. She will be remembered as one of the greatest golfers in school history. Gumm closed her career as a two-time All-ACC honoree. Both Kim and Morgane Metraux will return as two of the top players in college golf for the 2018 season. Doherty, only a freshman, was a great addition to Seminoles’ lineup. Not only did she join Florida State’s lineup for the first tournament of the season but her determination and stellar play helped her become one of the top freshmen in the ACC.
“I couldn’t be prouder of every member of our team,” said Bond. “Each of them gave us everything they had each day they came to the course. They changed the work ethic of our team by doing what they do – working hard. That’s a trait that all of our returning golfers can look to as they continue to help move this program forward. They can all see their hard work and the results it helped achieve for our team. It was great to see.”
Bond’s vision for the Seminoles sees her team conquering even greater heights and creating even more firsts for her program in the coming years.