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Florida State and Lindblad go wire-to-wire at Moon Invitational
22 Feb 2022
by Jim Young of AmateurGolf.com

see also: Moon Golf Invitational, Suntree Country Club - Challenge Course, Ingrid Lindblad Rankings

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Courtesy of Florida State Athletic Communications
Courtesy of Florida State Athletic Communications

Florida State has won its fair share of tournaments over the years under head coach Amy Bond but its win Tuesday at the Moon Invitational had to register high on the Seminoles' feel good meter.

By minimizing big numbers on their scorecards, the 26th-ranked (Golfweek/Sagarin) completed a wire-to-wire victory at Suntree Country Club's Classic Course to win the Moon Invitational by six shots over No. 10 Virginia while leaving four other top-10 teams in their wake over the course of the 54-hole event in Melbourne, Fla.

Nursing a slim two-shot lead over the Cavaliers heading into the final round, the Seminoles turned in their best performance of the tournament with a 7-under round of 281 to earn a six-shot win over their ACC rival.

For a program that spent two weeks ranked No. 1 in the country last spring, the Seminoles find themselves in the uncustomary position of looking up in the rankings this year, despite returning four players from its lineup last season that finished ninth at the NCAA Championships. The 'Noles neck strain might be lessened when the next polls are released after they took apart a stacked field over the last three days at Suntree, including five top-10 teams in No. 3 South Carolina, No. 4 Arkansas, No. 6 Florida, No. 8 Alabama and Virginia.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled,” said Bond. “All of the girls did a great job of staying in the moment. We had them work hard this off-season and this was a good week for each of them. The wind blew again today, but they all put themselves in good positions where they could score. The finishing holes (14-18) on this course are difficult, but they stayed patient and made pars when they needed to.”

Three Seminoles finished inside the top-10, including Charlotte Heath (4th; 6-under 210), Beatrice Wallin (t-5th; 5-under 211) and Amelia Williamson (9th; 3-under 213).

Wallin closed the tournament with an exclamation point by making an eagle on the par-5 18th hole for a final round 68 to secure her eighth top-five and 13th top-10 finishes of her career.

“Winning a championship feels great,” said Heath. “We’ve all put in a lot of hard work over the off-season. It’s great to see it paying off. We’re all really excited to play at home, so hopefully, it will be another good week.”

Along with Elle Johnson and Alice Hodge, Florida State had only four double bogeys over the 54-hole event at Suntree Country Club.

LSU junior Ingrid Lindblad also completed a wire-to-wire victory on Tuesday. The two-time All-American took a four-stroke lead into the final round, which was more than enough to withstand a final round 73 and secure a three-stroke win over Beth Lillie of Virginia and Kendall Griffin of Louisville, the reigning Florida Women's Amateur champion.

The native of Halmstad, Sweden turned in rounds of 66-67-73 to finish at 10-under 206 to earn her sixth win as a collegian and second this season following her victory at the Stevens Cup in October. Ranked third in the Golfstat performance rankings entering the tournament and No. 2 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, Lindblad tied Kristi Coats (1990-93) on the all-time LSU individual wins list with six wins each.

Florida State and LSU Athletic Communications contributed to this report

ABOUT THE Moon Golf Invitational

54-hole women's college tournament hosted by the University of Louisville. Team (best four scores out of five players each round) and individual competitions.

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