TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – The city of Radcliff, Ky., has a population of about 27,000 people. It describes itself as a backyard barbeque-type of town with friendly neighbors, great schools and a hard-working group of people. The city’s website says traffic jams are measured in yards and not miles and a daily commute is minutes and not hours.
Among the 27,000 people who call Radcliff home is one very special Seminole – senior golfer Lydia Gumm. In front of up to 30 family and friends, Gumm will lead the No. 4 Seminoles into the Cardinal Cup at the University of Louisville Golf Course in Simpsonville, Ky., beginning Sunday. The course is located about 45 minutes from her home in Radcliff and she couldn’t be more excited to be going home for her final time as a Seminole.
“It means everything to me to be able to play a tournament in my home state,” said Gumm. “I am so thankful that Coach (Amy) Bond is taking us back to Kentucky again. For her to do that means a lot to me and I’m really excited to play in front of friends and family.”
It’s an absolutely great time for Gumm and the Seminoles to return to the Cardinal Cup, where they finished second to Louisville in 2015.
Florida State enters the tournament with its highest ranking in program history, two team championships in its first three events (at the Schooner Fall Classic and the Jim West Challenge), three top-four finishes, eight wins over teams currently ranked in the top 25 and a 42-3 overall record in its first three tournaments of the fall.
The Seminoles have been runaway winners in their two tournament victories, are a total of 56 strokes under par for the season and have finished all nine of their rounds under par. Individually two Seminoles have titles, have a total of six top-10 finishes and have three golfers (including Gumm) ranked among the top 100 individual collegiate golfers.
Gumm, who was named to the prestigious All-ACC team in 2015, is enjoying the best season of her career. She is averaging a career-best 71.56 strokes in nine rounds and emerged from the Schooner Fall Classic with her career-best score (68; second round), fifth career top-five finish as she enjoyed the best outing of her career. Gumm is a total of 1 stroke over par in her first nine rounds of the fall and has carded six of her nine rounds at par or better.
“Lydia is a great example of a player whose hard work throughout her career is paying off during her senior season,” said Bond. “She persevered through injuries in the last couple of seasons but never stopped working hard. She worked hard to qualify for every national event she could, played well in all of those events and is now playing her best golf as a senior. We are all very proud of the golfer she has developed into and the person she has always been.”
Gumm, a two-time team captain and three-time All-ACC Academic Honor Roll selection, has been named to the academic Dean’s List at Florida State four times during her career. She was awarded the Golden Nole for the women’s golf team in 2015. The Golden Nole is presented annually to the top student-athletes on each team who has exhibited the ideals expected of every student-athlete at Florida State.
Her qualities as both a friend and a leader are evident to her teammates.
“Lydia is the person you go to when you need somebody,” said teammate and roommate Kayla Jones. “She makes everybody feel important and I think that is one of her best qualities. I know she’s always looking out for me.”
Her sentiments are echoed by teammate and roommate Sherrell Buckley.
“I am forever grateful to have met Lydia,” said Buckley. “Without her my collegiate experience would have been incomplete. I don’t know what I would do without her. She’s the type of friend that I will be able to call in the middle of the night 50 years from now. Lydia is one-of-a kind.”
Gumm and the Seminoles are on a mission to close out their fall season at the Cardinal Cup as well as it has begun.
“We all have to focus on our play and stay patient in order to play well in the Cardinal Cup,” said Gumm. “We have worked so hard and with this tournament being the last event of fall, I hope we give it all we’ve got.”
Bond held a Ryder Cup inspired event with her team in preparation for their final event of the fall. The Seminoles’ Europeans defeated the Seminoles’ United States players in the two-day match at the Don Veller Seminole Golf Course in Tallahassee. The event was Bond’s way of preparing her team while keeping the mood light.
“I just want all of our players to have fun,” said Bond. “They’re the ones playing the great golf. They’re the ones leading each other by example and pushing each other competitively in practice and in tournament play. If that’s our key to success, I am happy to continue letting them have fun.”