DUBLIN, Ohio (seminoles.com) – In one of the unique events in college golf, the nationally ranked Florida State men’s and women’s golf teams will both play in the Inaugural Barbara Nicklaus Cup at the Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, Oct. 4-5, 2021. The Solheim/Ryder Cup format features the Seminoles, Arizona State, Auburn and Ohio State facing each other in mixed foursome and singles competition over two days of competition to determine a team champion.
The driving force behind the event is Therese Hession, the women’s coach at Ohio State. After serving as the co-captain of the U.S. Team at the 2018 Palmer Cup in France, she brought a fabulous idea back to Columbus. Based upon her experience at the Palmer Cup, where college men and women played together for the first time, she came up with the idea of creating a mixed-team event on the collegiate level.
“I thought it would be a cool way to bring both of my teams together, and I knew of no other event in college golf like it,” Hession told Golf Digest. After two years of delays, the event debuts this week. Hession named the event after Barbara Nicklaus because of her contributions and support of the game and to charitable causes.
Barbara Nicklaus is an Ohio State alumnus and a recipient of several golf-related awards, including the Bob Jones Award from the USGA and the PGA of America Distinguished Service Award. Barbara and Jack, the Hall of Fame golfer and holder of a record 18 professional major titles, met at Ohio State as freshmen in 1957 and have been married for 61 years.
The Nicklaus family has a long and fabulous history with Florida State University.
The Nicklaus Design Company recently completed a redesign of the Seminole Legacy Golf Course on the Florida State campus.
Amy Bond, whose women’s team is ranked No. 12 nationally by the WGCA, is excited to bring her team to the event.
“This tournament is unique and a great way to honor Barbara Nicklaus,” said Bond. “With our programs (men’s and women’s) being combined, and our players getting along so well, this will be fun and completely different from any event we will play in this year. To watch our men’s and women’s players compete together as a team and enjoy each other’s company is something I think all of us will remember. Only four teams have this opportunity, so I am thankful we can represent Florida State and the Nicklaus Family is this tournament.”
The format is unlike any other, where men’s and women’s teams from each school play together in mixed foursomes and singles competition. The team with the most points at the end of each match wins a point for their team.
The Seminoles will tee off against Auburn on Monday at 8:00 a.m. ET, match up with Ohio State on Monday at approximately 1:40 ET and face Arizona State beginning at 8:05 a.m. ET on Tuesday.
Florida State’s Director of Golf Trey Jones has a similar sentiment when it comes to the Nicklaus family.
“Anything that has to do with Barbara Nicklaus or anyone with the Nicklaus Family is huge for Florida State,” said Florida State Director of Golf Trey Jones. “The fact that they have given us a golf course that is as good as any university golf course in the country, and all the friendships and support, and the fact that we get to go play in a golf tournament with our women’s team. I’ve coached for 30 years, and I’ve never been in an event with the men and women being partners in a match. It’s going to be really cool. The association with the Nicklaus Family is something that does not get overlooked here at Florida State.”
Florida State’s women finished in a tie for fourth place at the season-opening Schooner Fall Classic in their first match of the season. The Seminoles were led by sophomore Charlotte Heath who finished tied for 11th in the individual standings. Florida State’s dynamic senior duo of Beatrice Wallin and Amelia Williamson finished in a tie for 15th place in the individual standings.
For Wallin, who has played in countless formats in her career, the opportunity to compete in the Barbara Nicklaus Cup is very exciting.
“The Nicklaus Cup is going to be a great event, especially because we get to play with the boys,” said Wallin. “It will be lots of fun playing with them and not only cheering them on from far away.”
Wallin, Heath, Kaylah Williams, Alice Hodge, Elle Johnson and Cece Finne-Ipsen will represent the Seminole women in the event. Cole Anderson, Daniel Bradbury, Connor Futrell, Frederik Kjettrup, Brett Roberts and Michael Sakane are the competing members for the Florida State men as six players will play for each team in the event.