GREENSBORO, N.C. (seminoles.com) – After three consecutive runner-up finishes in the ACC Women’s Golf Tournament, Florida State Head Coach Amy Bond is looking to flip the switch when play begins in the event on Thursday at the Sedgefield Country Club.
With second place finishes in the ACC Championship in each of the last three seasons, Bond’s Seminoles have performed consistently well, not just in the recent years, but more importantly this season. Florida State enters the championship ranked No. 4 nationally. They have played as the nation’s No. 1 ranked team and been ranked in the nation’s top-five throughout the season.
“I feel like we can go toe to toe with anybody in the country, so I’m pretty excited,” said Bond. “As a coach, you don’t say too much about how far we think we can go, but I certainly I have a lot of positive vibes going into the ACC Championships. I’m excited to see what happens.”
Florida State enters the championship ranked No. 4 nationally by Golfweek and No. 5 nationally by Golfstat. The Seminoles enter the ACC Championship with the lowest per round stroke average (287.33) of the 12 conference teams. The Seminoles have carded nine of their top 10 rounds as a team below par and have earned team championships at the Florida State Match Up and the Pinetree Women’s Collegiate.
Junior Beatrice Wallin is the nation’s No. 1 ranked golfer according to Golfweek and has the best scoring average (70.40) in the ACC. Wallin and teammate Charlotte Heath (71.92 stroke average) are both ranked in the top five in the ACC for scoring average making the Seminoles the only team with multiple players ranked among the ACC’s top five golfers.
A new format for the ACC Women’s Golf Championship also has Bond excited.
The format includes three rounds of stroke play on Thursday (two rounds) and Friday (one round) before match play begins on Saturday. The top four teams following stroke play will advance to the match play semifinals on Saturday with the finals contested on Sunday. The individual champion will be determined after the three rounds of stroke play.
“It’s our first time starting with stroke play and then going into match play to determine the champion,” said Bond. “It’s a really exciting way to crown a team champion; it mirrors the competition at the NCAA Championship in May. The format is also well-liked by our players whose international experience includes a great deal of match play.”
Bond’s lineup will be one of the most tested in the tournament with two juniors (Wallin and Amelia Williamson) and three freshmen (Heath, Alice Hodge and Taylor Roberts) teeing off for the Seminoles.
It’s a lineup that Bond is comfortable with, as she has utilized the same five players in each of the Seminoles’ matches this spring. The quintet has earned four top-five team finishes and are a combined 10 strokes under par for the entire spring season.
Williamson, who finished in a tie for 20th place in the individual standings of her first ACC Championship in 2019, is hoping for a happy return to Sedgefield this time around.
“I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to compete at ACC’s especially since we were not able to sophomore year,” said junior Amelia Williamson. “I have learned a lot about my golf game since freshman year. More importantly, I have learned a lot about myself and my mannerisms, which have helped me improve as a golfer.
“I have developed my short game which has been a huge part of my successes from my freshman year and those skills will be very important this week,” said Williamson. I’m look forward to the challenge.”
Williamson has been up to the challenge throughout the season with three top-15 individual finishes including a career-best tied for second place finish at the Florida State Match-Up in February. She enters the ACC Championship with a career-low 72.93 stroke average and carded her career-best score for a single round with a 66 in the first round of the Moon Invitational to begin the spring season.
Wallin, who was named the ACC Golfer of the Month in March, can add to her lofty national resume with a strong performance in the championship. She finished in a tie for 10th in the individual standing in her first ACC Championship appearance in 2019.
“As a team we are going into the ACC Championship with a lot of confidence,” said Wallin. “I feel like we are ready to play, and we are super-excited to begin play on Thursday. We have a young team so it will be nice to see how the freshman play the course. Amelia and I played the course our freshman year, so we know a little how it’s going to be. I feel like we can really do well.”