TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – No. 3 Florida State will face No. 6 Florida in a one-day, 36-hole match-play event at Southwood Golf Club Friday at 7:30 a.m. The Seminoles and Gators will meet in the second head-to-head match-up between the two teams in school history. The event marks the first match-play event for the Seminoles since the 2006-07 season, when they played in the NCGA Match Play Championship at Eagle Creek Golf Club in Orlando.
It was at the NGCA Match-Play in November of 2006 that the Seminoles defeated the Gators, 5-0-0, in the first round of the event.
Match play became the championship component of the NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship in 2015. FSU coach Amy Bond sees this match-play event against the Gators as a tremendous opportunity to prepare her team for the upcoming national championships at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill (May 19-24, 2017).
“We are really excited to be able to play an event like this during the season and prior to the beginning of postseason,” said Bond. “The idea has been on my mind for a while and with an extra day of play available to our team, we were able to make it happen with Florida. It’s very exciting for our team to get an extra day of competition against a great program while utilizing a format that will help us moving forward in the postseason.”
Match play is a format in which the round is played with the goal of each individual golfer winning holes. For example, on No. 1, you score 4 and your opponent gets a 5 – you win the hole. Scoring is kept by comparing the holes won by each player. If each has won the same number of holes, the match is said to be all square. If you have won four holes and your opponent has won three, you are said to be “1-up” while your opponent is “1-down.”
The final score of each individual match reflects the margin of victory and the hole at which the match ended. If the match goes the full 18 holes, the score would be 1-up or 2-up. If it ends before the 18th, the score would look like “3-and-2” (the winner was 3 holes up with only two holes to play, thus ending the match early).
Florida State’s players are looking forward to playing in the event, which precedes its participation in the ACC Championship April 13-15 at The Reserve Golf Club in Pawley’s Island, S.C., by just six days.
“It’s awesome that we have the opportunity for a match-play event against one of the top teams in the country,” said team captain Lydia Gumm. “We haven’t played Florida often this season and it will be a lot of fun to compete against them again. The match gives us an opportunity to prepare our team to reach one of our team goals, which is to qualify for match play at nationals.
The Seminoles came within one round of qualifying for the match play portion of the NCAA Division I Women’s Championship in 2016. After finishing 15th in stroke play last year at the Eugene Country Club at the championship finals, the Seminoles came up just short of qualifying for match-play, which takes the top eight teams in the stroke play portion to compete for the national championship.
It’s a finish Bond and the Seminoles have not forgotten. And they will play in this event against the Gators with moving into the match play rounds at nationals in mind.
“We played really well at nationals last season,” said Bond. “We were very proud to finish in the top 15 nationally but knew then what we had to finish in the top eight and put ourselves in position to win a national championship. Our team has played all year with that in mind.”
The Seminoles have achieved their highest ranking in school history and have won six tournament championships this year. They have been ranked as high a second nationally – their highest ranking ever – and are ranked No. 3 by GolfWeek entering Friday’s match.
“We are all looking forward to a great match against Florida,” said junior Kim Metraux, who is ranked among the top 100 individual golfers in the nation. “They have a strong team and this will help us as we continue to prepare for the postseason. Though we haven’t played any match play events during our careers at Florida State, we have all played match play tournaments during our international and US Golf Association events.”
Florida State is riding high from its team victory in the Clemson Invitational as senior Matilda Castren won her school-record seventh individual title of her career. The Seminoles are an incredible 98 strokes under par for the year and 53 strokes under par in five events this spring.
Admission and parking at Southwood Golf Club are both free for Friday’s event.