TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) — It’s been a historic week for head coach Amy Bond and the Florida State women’s golf program.
It began with two golfers – junior Amanda Doherty and freshman Beatrice Wallin – excelling in the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur championship and a third Seminole – freshman Frida Kinhult – playing as an amateur in the ANA Inspiration, the first major of the 2019 LPGA season.
The week continues as Florida State plays in the fourth annual Clemson Invitational, looking to win a third consecutive tournament championship – which would mark another historic first in program history. The Seminoles have won two consecutive tournaments five times in school history (three times under Bond) and enter the Clemson tournament with back-to-back wins at the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate and the Evans Derby Experience.
To top Florida State’s many historical feats this week, the Seminoles are ranked No. 5 nationally in the latest GolfStat ranking – their highest since being ranked No. 1 nationally during the fall of 2017.
“It’s good to be a Seminole,” Bond said emphatically during the team’s preparations for Clemson. “It’s always good to be a Seminole and this has been an especially good week. That’s a credit to the players who have put in a lot of hard work to get us to this point. All the members of our team play a huge part of our success in the community, the classroom and on the course.”
The Seminoles roared to a record-setting win at the Darius Rucker then mounted a final-round charge to win the Evans Derby, two wins that have had a resounding effect on their national stature across the world of college golf.
We played well to win both of those tournaments, and we let the girls enjoy their success,” said Bond. “But when it became time to concentrate on the Clemson Invitational, they were able to turn the page and see that another high-profile event, with five teams ranked in the nation’s top-20, was on the horizon.”
No. 5 Florida State will compete against No. 7 Vanderbilt, No. 14 Auburn, No. 17 Virginia, No. 18 Michigan State, No. 28 Purdue, No. 31 Illinois, No. 34 Clemson, Indiana, Kansas, LSU, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Tulane, Virginia Tech and UNC Wilmington as they play to win their third consecutive team championship.
According to Bond, getting this group to focus on playing in another tough field at Clemson has been easy despite the many distractions.
“This group is very grounded,” said Bond. “It’s a group that pulls for each other’s success whether they are playing as a team or in prestigious tournaments around the country, as is the case this week.”
With Kinhult, the nation’s No. 1 ranked college golfer, playing in her first career LPGA major in California, the Seminoles will be without their top player at Clemson. Florida State’s lineup will consist of Doherty along with junior Sandra Salonen along with freshmen Wallin, Puk Lyng Thomsen and Amelia Williamson.
Doherty and Wallin will travel to Clemson and join their teammates after playing in the championship round of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur.
I’m very confident in this group because I know they will play for each other,” said Bond. “It’s an opportunity for each of the girls in the lineup to play well and show that we have golfers on this team up and down the roster.”
Williamson, who will play in her sixth event of her career, agrees with Bond.
“The team atmosphere is probably at its best right now as we continue to support each other,” said Williamson. “We are all super confident and excited to play well at Clemson and work to win our third consecutive tournament.”
Florida State enters the Clemson Invitational chasing even more history as it looks to become the first two-time team champion in the history of the event after winning the title in 2017.
We played well at Clemson in 2017 and beat some really good teams, including Florida and Furman, who were both ranked in the top five in the nation at the time,” said Bond. “Amanda played well in that event (she finished in a tied for 15th place) so there will be some familiarity with the course. Amanda is a fantastic leader; the other four players in the lineup will be able to gain knowledge from her once she makes the trip over from Augusta on Saturday.”
Bond has always stated that her goals are centered around making history at the NCAA Championships in May. But on the Seminoles’ journey through the 2019 season, historical milestones along the way will be celebrated and cherished.
And for Bond and the Seminoles, it looks like there could be many more historical weeks like this one in the foreseeable future.