PANAMA CITY, Fla. (Seminoles.com) After a one-year absence and at a new course, the Florida State women’s golf team will play host to the Seventh Annual Florida State Match-Up at the Bay Point Golf Club, Feb. 29-March 1.
The 10-team tournament is born from FSU head coach Amy Bond’s incredible golf mind and her desire to bring teams and friends from around the country to an early-season tournament where they can not only compete against, but also with, each other. The unique format matches each of the 10 teams into five pairs that not only compete with each other for the match-up title, but against each other for the team and individual championships.
“Each of the teams who has competed in the event in the first six years of the event has absolutely loved the competition and the camaraderie,” said Bond. “That was our desire when we came up with the format. We invited teams and had them invite a team they wanted to play with over the course of a weekend. It is a great opportunity to bring teams from different regions of the country together with teams they don’t generally compete against on an annual basis.”
Bond has achieved her goal again this season.
Bond’s Florida State Seminoles are paired with the Alabama Crimson Tide. Clemson will play with LSU (and not on the football field). Kansas State will play with Toledo. Missouri will play with Coastal Carolina. Memphis and USF are also a team.
“We have teams from the ACC, the SEC, the Big 12, the Mid-American Conference, the American Athletic Conference and the Sun Belt Conference,” said Bond. “It’s a great collection of teams, players and coaches who are all among the top teams in their conferences and the nation. We are looking forward to a really exciting weekend of golf.”
After playing the event at both the Don Veller and Southwood Golf Courses in Tallahassee for the first six years of the tournament’s existence, Bond decided to keep the event in Florida but move it to Bay Point while the Seminole Legacy Course matures after a complete redesign by Jack Nicklaus. While the Seminoles’ home course is set to open this spring, Bond felt playing the jewel of Florida State’s schedule at one of the top courses in the beautiful Panhandle of Florida on the “Forgotten Coast” area of the state would make for a more than worthy substitute.
“Bay Point is a terrific course and it’s in awesome shape for this time of the year,” said Bond. “The weather is forecasted to be sunny and warm, and that’s what the teams from the north are hoping for – a chance to play in polos and shorts for the first time this year. Hosting this event is one of the highlights of the year for our program, and we hope that playing in the event is one of the highlights of the year for the teams who are travelling to play in the event.”
FSU has been successful in the Florida State Match-Up since it began in 2013.
The Seminoles (2016 and 2017) and South Carolina (2014 and 2018) are the only two teams who have won multiple championships. Florida State has won the Match-Up championship a tournament-record three times (2015, 2016 and 2017) – the Seminoles were paired with Texas A&M each time they won the Match-Up Championship.
South Carolina won the team championship while the combination of the Gamecocks and Virginia won the match-up championship in 2018 – the last time the event was played before taking a one-year hiatus as the Seminoles’ home course was closed for its dynamic redesign.
Matilda Castren in 2014 and Morgane Metraux in 2017 gave Florida State the individual champion twice in the first six years of the event. Ainhoa Olarra of South Carolina won the individual championship in 2018.
After defeating Virginia, 7.5-1.5, in a dual match in early February at Bay Point, Florida State’s players are looking forward to playing the course again.
“Our dual match against Virginia was a great opportunity to get two competitive rounds at Bay Point before returning for the Match-Up,” said team captain Amanda Doherty. “It’s a great course, a great event, and we are looking forward to two days of great competition.”
“We are all looking forward to hosting the Match-Up again,” said Bond. “It will be great to see old friends and make new friends and that’s really the essence of the tournament. It’s going to be an exciting week of competition on a great course.”
Play on Saturday and Sunday is set to begin at 8 a.m. with 36 holes played on day one and 18 holes and a new set of individual and team champions decided with 18 more holes on day two.
Admission and parking at Bay Point are free and the public is welcome as Florida State brings the best of collegiate golf to the Forgotten Coast.