May 7, 2011 - by
Noles Golf Falls Short

May 7, 2011

The Florida State women’s golf team fell in a one hole playoff to Vanderbilt and was denied a spot in the NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship finals as play in the NCAA East Regional Championship came to a close on the Legends Course at LPGA International. In the one hole sudden victory playoff, the Seminoles scored three pars (Jessica Negron, Macarena Silva and Maria Salinas) and two bogeys while the Commodores scored four pars and only one bogey to advance to next week’s championship finals at the Traditions Course at Bryan, Texas.

The Seminoles will be represented at the NCAA Championship finals by sophomore Jessica Negron who finished as one of the two highest ranking individuals not on one of the top eight qualifying teams. Florida State’s Maria Salinas was defeated by Caroline Powers of Michigan State in her bid to earn the second individual spot.

It marked the second time in the last four seasons that the Seminoles saw their hopes of advancing to the NCAA Championship finals dashed in a one hole playoff. The Seminoles were defeated in a one-hole playoff by LSU at the University of Texas Golf Course in 2008.

“I am really proud of all of our girls;” said first year head coach Amy Bond. “We came up short in the playoff but all of them showed a tremendous amount to resolve and composure which put us in the position to advance to nationals. This is going to be a great lesson for them that every shot in every round in every tournament counts. We will continue to move ahead, improve and learn from all of the triumphs and challenges we faced along the way.”

Florida State displayed a tremendous amount of resolve in holding their position in the team standings in the final round and finishing in a tie for eighth place in the official standings. The Seminoles were buoyed by senior Andrea Kaelin’s one over par 73 on Saturday and finished ahead of both 16th ranked Auburn and 18th ranked Michigan State – two teams that were seeded higher than Florida State in the region.

“We talked as a team last night and we all knew what we had to do,” said Bond. “We had to play smart golf, manage the course and have someone step up. Today it was Andrea. Yesterday it was Maria and on Thursday it was Jessica. Every player on our team stepped up in this tournament and without all five of them we wouldn’t even been in a playoff.”

Alabama, the No. 3 ranked team in the nation and the top seeded team in the region won the overall team championship. The Crimson Tide defeated North Carolina by two strokes to win the regional championship. Alabama and North Carolina will be joined in the championship finals by Arizona State, Purdue, Coastal Carolina, California, Florida and Vanderbilt.

Kaelin (Fleming Island, Fla.) led the Seminoles with her score of one over par – the second best single round score of her career. She carded 14 holes at par or better with a tournament high three birdies in the final round. Kaelin had a total of two birdies in the first two rounds of the regional as she carded scores of 84 and 80. She came within one stroke of tying her career best score of 72 which came in the third round of the fall 2010 Cougar Classic.

“Andrea really came to play today,” said Bond. “She was relaxed, focused, and mentally ready to play. We knew that she would play well for us when the weight of the team wasn’t on her shoulders. She grew up in this tournament and that’s a very good thing because she returns as one of our seniors next season.”

For Kaelin, who was playing in her first career NCAA regional championship, her score of 73 was nearly 10 stokes lower than her average in her last nine rounds.

Negron (Ocala, Fla.) shot a two over par score of 74 and finished in a tie for third place in the individual standings with an even par score of 216. She was at even par after 15 holes with 11 holes at par and two birdies but carded bogeys on two of her last three holes.

Negron’s individual finish tied the best finish of her career (she finished in a tie for third at the spring 2010 Lady Gator Invitational), was her second consecutive top 15 finish (she finished in 11th place at the spring 2011 ACC Championship) and was the fourth top 10 individual finish of her career.

Salinas (Lima, Peru) carded a two over par score of 74 and finished in a tie for sixth place with a one over par score of 217 – the best regional finish of her career. She was also at even par after her first 15 holes but was undone by two bogeys on her final three holes.

“I am very happy for both Jess who has a great chance to make noise at nationals,” said Bond. “I feel for Macarena Silva, our only senior, who enjoyed a tremendous career as a Seminole. She played in four NCAA Tournaments and earned her degree in marketing last week. She is going to begin her professional career in the next couple of weeks and as a coach I can’t thank here enough for what she has done for this program. She will be missed as much more than an outstanding player for us – she will be missed for what she brought to our team as an outstanding teammate.”

2011 NCAA East Regional Championship/Par 72/Final Florida State Results
Legends Course/LPGA International/Daytona Beach, Fla./May 5-7, 2011
T8/24.  Florida State    297   295   298   890
T3.     Jessica Negron   69    73    74    216
T6.     Maria Salinas    74    69    74    217
T64.    Macarena Silva   73    73    83    229
T100.   Andrea Kaelin    84    80    73    237
T103.   Hannah Thomson   81    80    77    238

2011 NCAA East Regional Championship/Par 72/Final Round Team Results
Legends Course/LPGA International/Daytona Beach, Fla./May 5-7, 2011

1. Alabama 866 13. Auburn 903
2. North Carolina 868 14. Ole Miss 906
3. Arizona State 871 15. UNC Wilmington 914
4. Coastal Carolina 876 16. Texas Tech 917
5. California 878 17. Augusta State 918
6. Purdue 879 18. Colorado 919
7. Florida 880 19. Stetson 925
T8. Vanderbilt 890 20. Kentucky 927
T8. Florida State 890 21. Florida International 929
10. TCU 893 22. Yale 930
11. Michigan State 894 23. Fairleigh Dickinson 959
12. Louisville 899 24. Alabama State 1,005
* Vanderbilt advances over Florida State by winning a one hole playoff
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