The 1996-97 women’s golf season was one where strong performances were put together, as a team and individually. The Lady Seminoles ended the season ranked 32nd in the Rolex women’s golf collegiate rankings while having several players finish among the top ten during the tournament season.
The Tribe came out in the fall and instantly made their mark on the women’s collegiate scene. FSU placed third out of 19 teams at their own Lady Seminole Invitational, including sophomore Amy Bond’s three round total of 223, a third place finish.
The “LSI” was followed up with a fourth and fifth place finish out of 12 teams at the Auburn Tiger Invitational and Beacon Woods Invitational, respectively. Individual highlights came from the two round Auburn Invitational were junior Aguri Okura’a 148 which tied her for sixth place and Bond’s 149 gave her a tie for tenth. In the Beacon Wood’s invitational, Bond shot 229 on three rounds to give her eighth place.
March marked the beginning of the second half of the season with the Lady Gator Invitational. The Tribe placed eighth out of 15 fifteen teams. They were seventh out of 14 teams at the LSU-Fairwood Invitational and eighth out of 15 at the Lady Gamecock Classic. The Lady Gamecock Classic also saw the best three round total for Lady Seminole Amy Bond, who shot 222 to finish tied for 12th place.
The tribe ended the regular season as strong as they began it, finishing second, one stroke behind the 16th-ranked University of Florida, in the Ryder-Florida College Championship. Okura had her strongest showing of the season shooting 224 over three rounds. The score was good enough to tie her for first place with the UF’s Riko Higashio. However, Okura fell in a one hole playoff to Higashio. Okura’s second place finish was the highest of the season for any of the Lady Seminoles. Bond and Spooner also finished tied for 12th place in the tournament.
In the ACC tournament, the ladies placed fourth out of the four teams participating. They were led by Spooner who shot a three round tournament of 232 to finish a Seminole best tied for 8th. The team was without sophomore Erica Iding, a top five player, who was sitting out due to Academic complications
The season ended with a return trip to the NCAA regional tournament. Unfortunately, the Lady Seminoles placed tied for 18th with the University of Kentucky. Bond, a native of Ocala, used a round of 74 to finish tied for 36th with three other golfers.
For the season, Bond led the team with a 77 stroke average. She also finished in the top 15 of six of the ten tournaments she played.
As the 1997-98 season arrives a team which has already achieved a level of success will look to step it up to the next level at NCAA championships. With a veteran group of top five players returning and the will to suceed great things can be expected for the Lady Seminole golf team