SAN MARCOS, Tex. (seminoles.com) – When Cecilie Finne-Ipsen steps into the tee box to begin the first round of the Jim West Classic on Sunday, she might look down the fairway and think to herself how thankful she is to be a member of the nationally ranked Florida State Women’s Golf Team.
Finne-Ipsen is in her first season as a member of Head Coach Amy Bond’s Seminoles. As a transfer student-athlete from UNC Charlotte, Finne-Ipsen has not had the traditional student-athlete experience. After playing for three seasons at Charlotte (2018-21), Finne-Ipsen began her career as a Seminole in helping lead Florida State to the championship of the Inaugural Barbara Nicklaus Classic during the first week of October.
“It’s actually a little bit of a sad story for me,” said Finne-Ipsen. “I had a really good relationship with my coach at Charlotte, so when she left I decided to look elsewhere. I went into the transfer portal in the beginning of January 2021 and I think Coach Bond was one of the first to contact me.”
Entering the transfer portal was never the plan for the senior from Ballerup, Denmark, but it was for the betterment of her career. After researching all of her options and contacting multiple coaches across the country, Finne-Ipsen found her new home at Florida State.
“I am beyond excited about the opportunity to be part of one of the greatest programs in the nation,” said Finne-Ipsen.
Finne-Ipsen was one of the most successful golfers in the history of the UNC Charlotte program before departing for Tallahassee.
She is a two-time All-Conference USA selection (First Team in 2019 and Second Team in 2021), was the UNCC Team MVP in 2021, finished her career ranked third in school history with a 73.81 stroke average and earned six top-10 finishes in the first three years of her career. Finne-Ipsen earned her first collegiate championship at the Idle Hour Collegiate Championship in the fall of 2019.
In addition to her success on the course, she is an all-star in the classroom. She won the Bonnie Cone Award at UNCC in both 2020 and 2021 as the top All-Around Student-Athlete, was named to the 2019 and 2020 WGCA All-American Scholar Team and earned the Conference USA Academic Medal in each of her three seasons at UNCC.
“When I want to achieve something, I’ll do what is within my control to achieve that,” Finne-Ipsen said. “With the resources that are available to us (at Florida State), the only thing that can stop you from succeeding is yourself.”
Bond had no doubt that Finne-Ipsen would be a great fit for the nationally ranked women’s golf program at Florida State.
“Cece has been a great addition to our program,” said Bond. “She has a lot of experience and is fitting in well with the team. Cece has a plan of where she wants to go and has many leadership qualities. I am thrilled she chose to transfer to Florida State as she will be instrumental in our success this year, both on and off the course.”
Looking at her career long-term, Finne-Ipsen hopes to play professionally following college. She believes that her career at Florida State will prepare her for this goal.
“I think Florida State can provide the culture that is going to push me to the level I want to go to. Being around other players who want the same thing as I do will push me every day to become better,” said Finne-Ipsen.
With the support of her teammates and the motivation to succeed, Finne-Ipsen is excited to play another year of the sport she loves at the collegiate level.
“Cece is a great teammate, she’s always putting the hard work in and she’s doing it with a 100 percent focus,” said senior All-American Beatrice Wallin. “She’s also an awesome roommate and teammate who is always cheering on her team and wants everyone’s best of heart.”
A talented athlete, Finne-Ipsen began playing golf and badminton at a young age until she was about 18 years old.
“For a long time, playing both sports had been a really big part of my identity and it was a little bit hard for me to let that go,” said Finne-Ipsen. “I knew that I had to give one of the sports my all or I was going to regret it.”
The decision was difficult for her, but she knows now that she picked the right sport.
“I can’t find a better feeling than figuring out a golf shot and executing it exactly the way I imagined,” said Finne-Ipsen.
To this day, Finne-Ipsen is an honored badminton player in Denmark and uses her experiences in that sport to further her potential in golf. While balancing an extremely busy golf schedule, she has achieved a perfect 4.0 GPA in each year of her three years in college. The sacrifices that the student-athlete has had to make in order to get here requires motivation.
“I remind myself of my goals, both long-term and short-term,” Finne-Ipsen said. “I try to remind myself of all the incredible places I’ve been and all the amazing things I have gotten the opportunity to do because I am good at my sport.
“The feeling of standing on top of that podium is a huge motivator that I am incredibly proud to have experienced. Bad rounds can also motivate me to work on stuff in order for that to never happen again,” said Finne-Ipsen.
Despite the untraditional path she has taken to get to Florida State, Finne-Ipsen is ready to thrive during her career as a Seminole.