March 11, 2022 - by

W. Golf, Williams Play In Augusta Invitational Saturday And Sunday

AUGUSTA, Ga. (seminoles.com) – Kaylah  Williams began her career as a golfer when she was just three years old, with a plastic set of golf clubs gifted to her by her parents.  This weekend, Williams will play for the Florida State Women’s Golf Team at the Valspar Augusta Invitational among some of the top collegiate golfers in the United States.

The No. 14 ranked Seminoles enter the Valspar Augusta Invitational following a first place finish at the spring season-opening Moon Invitational and a second place finish at the Florida State Match Up.  The Seminoles have earned five top-10 individual finishes in their first two events of the season.  Senior All-American Beatrice Wallin (tied for fifth in the Moon Invitational and tied seventh in the Match Up) and senior Amelia Williamson (individual championship in the Florida State Match Up and tied for ninth in the Moon Invitational) have finished in the top-10 of both events.

The Seminoles begin play in the Valspar Augusta Invitational with three players ranked among the nation’s top 85 individual players: No. 9 Williamson, No. 26 Wallin and No. 85 Charlotte Heath.

At the Valspar Augusta Invitational, the No. 14 Seminoles will compete for their second championship of the season against No. 4 South Carolina, No. 9 Alabama, No. 23 Virginia Tech, No 25. Ole Miss, Augusta, Coastal Carolina, Furman, Georgia Southern, Memphis, Miami, Minnesota, Purdue, San Diego State, South Florida and Tennessee in the 16-team field.

It has certainly been a long journey to the Forest Hills Golf Club in Augusta, Ga., for the freshman from Western Province, South Africa.

With years of practice and dedication to the sport, Williams earned the title of WGSA (Women’s Golf South Africa) Player of the Year in both 2019 and 2020. Her awards did not stop there, as her commitment to Florida State marks her as the first golfer from South Africa to play at Florida State.  Although her love for the game has never waned, she had another dream aspiration: becoming a surgeon.

Williams is playing in her fourth event of her freshman season.  She began to make a name for herself as she finished with a 3-0 record in mixed foursome and singles play in leading Florida State to the team victory at the Inaugural Barbara Nicklaus Classic in early October.   She was a member of the Seminoles’ lineup at the Jim West Challenge and will play as an individual in the Valspar Augusta.

Williams has quickly come to enjoy the advantages that the United States offers to a student-athlete.  One of her dreams has always been to play in the States and when Florida State offered her a scholarship, she immediately jumped at the opportunity. Although coming to Florida State meant leaving her family and friends behind in South Africa, the welcoming atmosphere and top-flight competition found at Florida State was an opportunity she could not turn down.

As successful as her career has been thus far, she has faced challenges while growing up.  The level of competition, whether the number of tournaments, field size, or facility strength, is not nearly as close standards-wise, as it is in the United States. Although South Africa is a “golf power” of the world, Williams believes there are more opportunities to grow in the States, specifically associated with her goal of one day becoming a professional golfer.

“Sticking with what felt right,” is how Williams described her tenacious pursuit of college golf throughout the years.  Her mentality has won her more than 10 championships, nearly 40 top-10 finishes, and a countless number of awards to showcase her junior career.

Her consistent dedication and commitment to the sport has led her to playing as a freshman at Florida State.

Seminole Head Coach Amy Bond is one of Williams’ top supporters.  Along with Bond and the coaching staff, her teammates quickly formed a connection with Williams and continue to make Tallahassee feel a bit more like home.

Looking towards the future, Williams is most excited to help lead the Seminoles to the NCAA Championship Finals in Scottsdale, Az.  Williams feels good about this upcoming season, as she has worked hard on improving every aspect of her game to ensure her spot in the Seminole lineup.

Only one semester into her collegiate career, Williams is already solidifying her position in the lineup.  She earned her way into the lineup for the first tournament of the season, the Schooner Fall Classic.  Williams helped the team to a tied for fourth place finish.  Her pure talent and true capabilities came to the forefront in the Barbara Nicklaus Cup.  Williams was the only Florida State member, including the men’s golf team, to go 3-0 in the mixed foursomes and singles match play event.

Bond applauded Williams for her outstanding play and knows she gained the experience and recognition she has been practicing or.

TOURNAMENT WINS

Ackerman Champion 2016 (Gus Ackerman Trophy)
Western Province U16 Champion at the Nomads WGWP Junior Champion 2016
SA Women’s Inter Provincial Championship 2017
Southern Cape Amateur Open & Closed Champion 2018
Friends of Engelberg Challenge Champion 2019
Gauteng Junior and Open Hole Champion 2019
KZNILGA Championship 2019
Nomads South African Girl’s Rose Bowl Champion 2019
Ackerman Champion 2020
SA WOMEN’s Inter-Provincial 2017

ACADEMICS

Majoring in psychology, her favorite class is biology.

CAMPUS LIFE

Favorite restaurant on campus is Bento; Doak Campbell stadium is her best favorite place on campus

FRIENDS, FAMILY, & HOME LIFE

Her father shares a background in golf.  Her mother is her role model.  She is described as determined, adventurous, and humble.

KAYLAH WILLIAMS FUN FACTS

If you could be anyone for a day, who would it be? Scarlett Johansson
Where would be your favorite place to travel to? Canada
If you could only eat one food for the next week, what would it be? Homemade stir-fry
Favorite music? Classics
Favorite club in your bag? 9 iron, gap and sand wedge
Something someone would be surprised to know about you?  I enjoy hunting and camping; I would love to climb up Kilimanjaro
If you could shop at one store for free for a month, what would it be? The grocery store.

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