SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (seminoles.com) – When Florida State’s Cecilie Finne-Ipsen steps into the tee box on hole No. 1 in the first round of the NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship Finals on Friday, she’ll begin to live out a dream she has had for as long as she can remember.
As she strikes her first tee shot in her first career NCAA Championship finals appearance, her outstanding four-year career playing college golf will become as focused as it has ever been. She has thrived on the course and in the classroom throughout her career at two different universities – UNC Charlotte and Florida State. She has won an individual championship, been a member of tournament winning teams, played in three NCAA Regional Championships and helped the Seminoles win the team title at the NCAA Tallahassee Regional Championship last week.
“I’m nervous, but also super-excited to be playing at the NCAA Championship for the first time,” said Finne-Ipsen, “I was close to qualifying as an individual my freshman year, but I missed by one shot. This opportunity makes it so much more special. It’s not something everybody gets to do; I’m just grateful to be here and can’t wait to play.”
Finne-Ipsen is completing her career at Florida State after playing her first three seasons at UNC Charlotte. She is one of the most successful and decorated golfers in the history of the program and holds the all-time record for best stroke average, was the team MVP in 2019, and holds three of the top six single season stroke averages in school history.
At the conclusion of her junior year, Finne-Ipsen chose to come to Florida State to complete her golf career as well as earn her degree in Management.
“Coming to Florida State gave me the opportunity to play at one of the top golf programs in the country, and the opportunity to earn a degree from one of the best business schools in the country,” said Finne-Ipsen.
The addition of a proven collegiate player to the Seminoles’ roster was important to Florida State Head Coach Amy Bond.
“Cece has been a great addition to our team,” said Bond. “She is only the second transfer that I have ever brought into the program. She has adjusted well to her new team and environment. I believe she is playing her best golf now, which is the perfect time of year to do that.”
She is certainly playing her best golf at the right time.
Finne-Ipsen finished her Florida State-best tied for ninth in the individual standings in helping the Seminoles win the team championship at the Tallahassee Regional Championship. Her scores of 72-73-74 had her in the top-10 for the entire tournament, which allowed the Seminoles to finish the championship as the only team with four individuals among the top-10 in the individual standings.
“Golf has a lot of ups and downs, but I played well at regionals,” said Finne-Ipsen. “I think part of it was being at home, sleeping in my own bed, and having the support from everybody out there (on the course). It is not often we have that kind of support when we are on the road, so that was really special.”
During the spring season, Finne-Ipsen earned Top-25 individual finishes at the Valspar Augusta and Clemson Invitationals, and won two of her matches at the NC State Wolfpack Match Play Invitational.
Her success on the golf course is complemented by her success as an academic standout.
Finne-Ipsen, who is just three grades (B, A-, A-) from a perfect 4.0 grade point average for her entire collegiate career, has been nothing short of spectacular in the classroom. She twice won the Bonnie Cone Award (in 2020 and 2021) for All-Around Student Athlete Excellence at UNC Charlotte. The Cone award is presented to the UNCC student-athlete who earned the highest grade point average during the year. Finne-Ipsen has also been named to the Scholar-Athlete team by the Women’s Golf Coaches Association twice during her career.
Academically at Florida State, she has earned President’s List honors (4.0 GPA) and Dean’s List honors (3.5 and above) in her two semesters as a Seminole and has a career GPA of 3.956.
“I am super excited to be graduating in December,” said Finne-Ipsen. “Earning a degree while playing sports at a high level is something that I am very proud of, and I know that my family is, too. I am especially proud of earning my degree while being in another country and away from my family.”
Finne-Ipsen’s most significant contribution to Florida State’s success and No. 10 national ranking almost certainly lies with her ability to quickly and seamlessly assimilate herself into the family culture that is so important to the Seminoles’ program.
Her contributions as a teammate were quickly realized by senior Beatrice Wallin.
“Cece is a great teammate,” said Wallin, a three-time All-American. ”Having her in the lineup last week (at regionals) was great, and her hard work paid off. I think good golf from any of our players helps the team build the confidence, especially going into nationals starting Friday. I think we all have confidence, and know what we are able to do. We are all very excited to start playing, and I think Cece and all of our players will do great. I am looking forward to playing alongside all of my teammates.”
Finne-Ipsen’s goal is to play professional golf and will attend the LPGA’s Q-School in the fall in hopes of earning her professional status.
During the next week, her focus is on the deep greenside bunkers guarding the crowned greens on the Raptor Course at Grayhawk.
“What I am most excited about is having a chance to compete against the best female golfers at the college level and having an opportunity to play for a national championship with my teammates,” said Finne-Ipsen. “I have to play the course to my strengths and then do the best that I can.”