TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Head Coach Amy Bond and her No. 20 ranked Florida State Women’s Golf team are wasting no time, nor momentum, as it opens its season at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge at the Palos Verdes Golf Club in California. The three-day, 54-hole tournament was the nation’s No. 1 event last season and looks as if it could very well hold that same title again this year.
Including the Seminoles, who are ranked No. 20 by Golfstat, the list of the 16 teams that will compete for the team championship reads like the leader board on the final day of the national championship. The field includes No. 1 Southern California, No. 2 Texas, No. 3 Florida, No. 5 Alabama, No. 8 Arizona State, No. 9 Arizona, No. 12 UCLA, No. 13 Stanford, No. 14 Wake Forest, No. 19 Washington, Baylor, Colorado, Furman, Ohio State and Oklahoma State.
“Except for the NCAA Championship, I’m not sure we have ever competed against a field that was this stacked,” said Bond. “This is an event that we wanted to play in because we have the players to compete for the championship. The Northrop Grumman is annually recognized as one of the toughest tournaments of the year, and we feel like we belong in this field. I’m very excited to watch our entire team play well over the course of all three days.”
The Seminoles begin their five match regular season schedule on the heels of a successful fall season which saw them earn three top five team finishes, and more importantly, gain a great deal of experience for a talented, but young lineup.
Florida State’s lineup at the Northrop Grumman includes one upperclassman and four freshmen. Junior Amanda Doherty is joined by relative newcomers Frida Kinhult, Puk Thomsen, Beatrice Wallin and Amelia Williamson in a group that will play together in competition for the first time.
Doherty, who earned All-ACC and All-American honors as a sophomore, will play in her 29th career event as a sophomore while her four teammates played in a combined total of 12 tournaments in their first semesters as Florida State student-athletes.
While the Seminoles lack collegiate experience, they certainly make up for that lack of tournaments played with an incredible amount of talent.
Doherty (73.01) holds the second lowest career stroke average in school history, while Kinhult, Wallin, Williamson and Thomsen were members of the highest rated recruiting class in school history in 2018. Kinhult (68.82), Wallin (71.09) and Williamson (72.17) enjoyed starts to their careers that has Bond confident about having four freshmen in her lineup for one of the nation’s toughest events.
“Going into this event with this group of players is something I am completely comfortable with,” said Bond. “This is a special group. This is a group that I have confidence in and a group I know will do well in this type of environment. They have all played so much high-level golf and playing in this event is what they have become conditioned to do throughout their careers.
“They simply have to go out and prove they belong for us to get to where we want to be at the end of the season.”
Doherty, who won the prestigious South Atlantic Regional Championship in January, and who will play along with Wallin in the Inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship in April, agrees.
“We have such a young team and it’s new to all of us,” said Doherty. “But they are all great golfers and I know this is going to be a fun week. I am excited to start the spring season; I feel good about where my game is.”
Florida State will play with Alabama, Wake Forest and Washington in the first round on the par 71, 6,017-yard course at the Palos Verdes Golf Club.