TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – March Madness hits the Plains of Auburn Sunday as the Florida State women’s golf team begins play in the Evans Derby Experience at the Auburn University Club. With four of the nation’s top 10 teams and four more in the top 35, the 12-team field is one of toughest in women’s golf this season. The field includes No. 2 Alabama, No. 3 Arkansas, No. 5 Duke, No. 9 South Carolina, No. 12 Florida, No. 22 Wake Forest, No. 26 Louisville and the No. 31 ranked Seminoles.
Tee times begin at 8:30 a.m. Sunday and Monday on the first and 10th holes. Tuesday’s play begins with an 8 a.m. shotgun start. Florida State begins play with an 8:30 start time on the 10th tee for Sunday’s first round. The Seminoles will play with Auburn and fellow-ACC member Louisville.
Florida State’s lineup includes seniors Kayla Jones, Kim and Morgane Metraux, sophomore Amanda Doherty and freshman Kathleen Sumner. Competing as an individual is sophomore Sandra Salonen.
The Seminoles are back on the course for the first time in nearly three weeks after finishing in a tie for fifth in the team standings at the rain-shortened Dickson Intercollegiate at the University of Houston. The Seminoles have earned two top-five team finishes in two spring events and are looking to improve their resume with only one regular season event remaining before the ACC Championships in April.
Jones, who is averaging a career-low 72.75 strokes in two events this spring, is especially excited to get back into the swing of playing tournament golf.
“I’m looking forward to playing competitive golf for the first time since we were rained out in Houston,” said Jones. “It’s a new tournament so it will be exciting to see the course and have a new experience with this being the first time I have played in this event in my career.”
The Evans Derby Experience is realizing a rebirth after a nearly 10-year hiatus.
The Seminoles have been very successful during the illustrious history of the event. Formerly known as the Derby Invitational and the Auburn Tiger Invitational, the Seminoles earned a second place team finish in the event in 1999. The Seminoles were led in the event by Head Coach Amy Bond who finished as Florida State’s leading golfer and in a tie for sixth place in the individual standings. During Bond’s playing career the Seminoles finished in second place (1999), fourth place (1997) and sixth place (1998) while Bond earned a pair of top-10 finishes.
The tournament is named in honor of former Auburn women’s golf coaches Kim Evans and Virginia Derby Grimes. Last played in 2008 as the Auburn Tiger-Derby Invitational, current head coach Melissa Luellen worked to reinstate the tournament and add Evans’ name to the event to honor each of the previous two Tiger coaches.
Scores can be found on Golfstat with results each day on seminioles.com.