RALEIGH, NC (seminoles.com) — With only four members of her team having collegiate match play experience at the start of the year, Florida State head coach Amy Bond knew that she had to do something to change that when she was making up the Seminoles schedule. in the 2021-22 season.
Bond was able to schedule two events on the Seminoles schedule – the Barbara Nicklaus Inaugural Classic and the NC State Match Play Invitational. Florida State’s women’s and men’s teams combined to win the Nicklaus Classic in October, and the women begin play in the NC State Match Play Invitational this weekend.
Bond will lead Florida State as the No. 2 seed, in the NC State Match Play Invitational Sunday, April 3 and Monday, April 4 at Lonnie Poole Golf Course. The Seminoles will face No. 7 seeded NC State at 9:30 a.m. Sunday and No. 3 seeded Duke or No. 6 seeded North Carolina in their second game on Sunday. The top half of the bracket includes No. 1 seed South Carolina against No. 8 seed Notre Dame and No. 4 seed Virginia Tech against No. 5 seed Louisville .
“One of the main reasons we chose to participate in the NC State Match play event was that the ACC and Nationals have a match play component,” Bond said. “Most of our events are stroke play throughout the year. We felt that adding an event that would help us in the post-season, would be a great learning experience, and would ultimately be very beneficial for all of our players.
The Championship event will follow many of the same roster determinations and scoring procedures used in Presidents Cup matches. Each tag team match will consist of five tag team matches, with each competing team receiving one point for winning a singles match.
Florida State recently had a match play at the Nicklaus Classic. In that game, five of the six Seminoles players who will play at NC State this week played both singles and doubles match play to lead Florida State to the tag team championship.
Florida State was successful in match play by advancing to the 2021 ACC Championship Finals. The Seminoles defeated Wake Forest in the semifinals before falling to Duke in the ACC Championship Game .
In the Nicklaus Classic, five Seminoles had match play victories – Beatrice Wallin, Charlotte Heath, Alice Hodge, Cecilie Finne-Ipsen and Elle Johnson. Those five Seminoles along with Amelia Williamson (who earned a match play win over Wake Forest at the 2021 ACC Championships) make up Florida State’s roster this week at NC State.
“We’re bringing six players with us to NC State so they all get more match play experience as we start planning for the playoffs,” Bond said.
Florida State defeated Virginia, 7.5-1.5, in a one-on-one competition at Bay Point Golf Club in Panama City, Florida in the spring of 2020. During that match, the Seminoles and Cavaliers engaged in match play with both the doubles and singles teams playing to decide the champion team.
In 2017, Florida State defeated Florida, 3-2, at Southwood Golf Club in Tallahassee, Fla., before losing to Duke, 4-1, at Lake Shore Country in Glencoe, Illinois. .
Heath, who has also played plenty of games throughout his junior career, is also thrilled with three rounds of match play to close out the Seminoles regular season.
“The Wolfpack Match Play Championship will be great preparation for our team heading into the playoffs because the goal for the ACC and the National Championships is always to get to match play,” Heath said. “I like match play because you can take risks on the course. I think this format is very exciting because anything can happen.
As a veteran of junior golf in Europe, Finne-Ipsen is looking forward to going one-on-one against an opponent this weekend.
“I’ve played a lot of matches in my career,” Finne-Ipsen said. “I love match play because you can take risks and play mentally against your opponent. I’m looking forward to playing NC State this weekend because it’s going to be a great test for our team. It’ll be fun to see how we play when we play one on one instead of playing the whole court.
Bond, who had a successful week in Augusta with Wallin playing in the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, knows this is a great way to start getting his players’ attention in the playoffs.
“It’s a different way for us to end our regular season,” Bond said. “But we know it will be very beneficial to us in the weeks and months to come.”