TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – Senior Kayla Jones and sophomore Amanda Doherty guided the 28th-ranked Florida State Women’s Golf team through the first round of the Clemson Invitational, with each recording a pair of 1-under 71s as the Seminoles are tied for sixth at the Reserve at Lake Keowee in Sunset, S.C.
“It was a solid start to the tournament with strong performances all around,” assistant coach Matt Whall said. “With just three shots separating all five players it leaves us with good feelings for the final two rounds. The team showed good mental strength to bounce back from mistakes today and we had plenty of good looks at birdie today that just slipped by.
“Tomorrow we will aim to get those putts rolling in and close the gap of the leaders.”
Jones and Doherty are currently tied for 15th among the 84-player field. For Jones, she set herself up nicely with three birdies and a 34 on the front nine, impressively shooting under par on both par 3 holes. The Milton, Ga., native also capitalized off of a par-4, 353-yard hole on the eighth before finishing the back nine with a 37.
Jones’ 2.50 average score on par 3 holes is tied for the lowest in the field.
“Kayla has been playing some great golf in recent rounds and it was awesome to see her keep that going,” Whall added. “She was solid all day and we will be looking for her to keep that momentum going.”
Doherty, an Atlanta native, re-grouped from a double bogey 6 on the third hole to shoot 3-under over the final 15 holes played. She totaled a team-leading five birdies on the day, including sub-par holes on three of the four par 5s offered at the Reserve at Lake Keowee.
Doherty’s 3-under total through the first round on par 5 holes is tied for the second lowest in the field, only surpassed by Michigan State’s Allyson Greer (-4). Her five birdies are also the ninth-most among the 84 participating golfers at the Clemson Invitational.
“I wasn’t putting the ball exactly how I wanted to today, but I felt like I played well overall,” Doherty said. “On the par 5s, I just tried to lay up to the yardages that I had been hitting well.”
In total, FSU’s 15 birdies are the fifth-most among all 15 teams. Jones and Doherty are two of just 22 golfers who shot under par on the day.
“Amanda got off to a tough start but showed great maturity and patience to bring her round in under par,” Whall said. “She even left a few out there after some stellar play from tee to green but I’m sure she will gather them up tomorrow.”
Senior Morgane Metraux shot a steady 1-over 73, tying for 34th. The Lausanne, Switzerland, native totaled three birdies to four bogeys, including two birdies on par-4 holes on the front nine and taking advantage of a par-5, 510-yard hole on the 11th.
Senior Kim Metraux (+2) and freshman Kathleen Sumner (+2) are each tied for 43rd.
Collectively, the Seminoles shot a 1-over 289, tied for their fifth-lowest round total in the 2017-18 year. FSU has held its own against a 15-team field that includes 11 teams in the Golfstat Top 50.
Co-leaders Furman and Michigan State sit atop the leaderboard at -11 each.
The Seminoles return for second-round action on Saturday. Sumner begins the round for FSU at 9:15 a.m., followed by Kim Metraux (9:24 a.m.), Morgane Metraux (9:33 a.m.), Jones (9:42 a.m.) and Doherty (9:51 a.m.).