PEBBLE BEACH, Cal. (seminoles.com) – The No. 23-ranked Florida State women’s golf team has never shied away from a challenge. It’s just not in Head Coach Amy Bond’s coaching philosophy. She subscribes to the adage – To be the best you have to play and beat the best – and that’s just what her team will face at the Stanford Intercollegiate hosted by former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
The Seminoles, who have been ranked among the nation’s top-25 throughout their four-event fall season, will face five top-25 opponents and 10 ranked within the top-50 during the three-day event at the Poppy Hills Golf Course (par 71, 6,069 yards) which runs Oct. 16-17, 2017. With 11 of the 15 teams ranked among the top-50 team in the country (including the Seminoles) in the event, Bond knows her team has quite an opportunity ahead of it.
“This is one of the top events of the year in women’s golf, and we are looking forward to the challenge,” said Bond. “Playing in this event gives us the opportunity to face some of the top teams in the nation in a region of the country we don’t often get to play in. It’s a great chance for us to compete against other teams and players and for those teams to see the program we have built at Florida State.”
The 54-hole tournament is played on the famed Monterey Peninsula in Northern California, which is home to the Pebble Beach Golf Links and offers scenic views of the Pacific Ocean.
As one of six teams ranked in the top-15, the Seminoles will compete against No. 4 UCLA, No. 5 Oklahoma State, No. 8 Stanford, No. 13 Northwestern, No. 22 Iowa State, Washington, Pepperdine, San Jose State, Oregon, Cal, Georgia, UC Davis and Cal Poly. Stanford, as the host team, will have two squads compete in the 15-team event.
Florida State’s lineup includes two seniors (Kim Metraux and Kayla Jones), two sophomores (Amanda Doherty and Ashley Mangan) and one freshman (Kathleen Sumner). It’s the first time the Seminoles have competed with this lineup. Metraux, Doherty and Sumner have competed in the Seminoles’ first three events of the season, Jones will make her third appearance and Mangan her second. Senior Morgane Metraux is competing in the second stage of LPGA Qualifying School and will miss her first event as a Seminole since the fall of 2015.
“I’m really looking forward to working with this group,” said Bond. “This group of five has really worked hard this fall, done well in qualifying and have all earned the chance to play. I’m excited to see how each player performs as they all continue to improve as players. How each of the girls is successful in this tournament will give me a lot to think about as we close out the fall and look towards the spring.”
Doherty, who is the Seminoles’ leading golfer with a 71.89 stroke average this fall, is confident that she and her teammates are ready for the challenge ahead of them on the west coast.
“It’s great to have the opportunity to travel to California and play such a great course,” said Doherty. “It’s exciting to come to the west coast and play against a field of teams that is different who we are used to playing. We are all going to play good golf and see how well all of our hard work pays off.”
In only her second year as a Seminole, Doherty is enjoying quite a start to her sophomore year. She enters the Stanford Intercollegiate with eight of nine fall scores at 75 or below, eight consecutive scores at 74 or below and a team leading three rounds scored below par.
“Amanda has really challenged herself as a golfer this season,” said Bond. “She is incredibly focused on not only becoming a good golfer but learning to be a better golfer. Amanda learns from both the positive and negative things she does on the course each and every day and to a coach that is very satisfying because that’s a trait that is hard to instill in people.”
Florida State’s appearance in the Stanford Intercollegiate marks just the third West Coast appearance for the Seminoles in the last five seasons following NCAA Regional play at Stanford in 2013 and NCAA Championship Finals play at Oregon in 2016.
“Not only is this a great tournament to play in but it gives some of the girls who have never been on the west coast a chance to see a new and different part of the country,” said Bond. “This is a beautiful course in a beautiful part of the United States. We know that we have to play great golf to be successful.”
Florida State’s off-season begins at the conclusion of the Stanford Intercollegiate. The Seminoles return to the course competitively Feb. 9-11, 2018 as they play host to the Florida State Match-Up at the Don Veller Seminole Golf Course and Club in Tallahassee.