Women’s golf begins fall season, Woad Shines

by Joanne Miller

The Florida State women’s golf team kicked off their 2023-24 season with a strong performance at the ANNIKA Intercollegiate tournament in Lake Elmo, Minnesota. Coming off a fifth-place finish in the previous NCAA Women’s Golf Championship, the Seminoles entered the new season ranked 10th in the country in the Preseason Mizuno WGCA Coaches Poll.

The team boasts a talented roster with six returning players and two newcomers. Sophomores Lottie Woad, Madison Hewlett, and Katherine Cook, junior Kaylah Williams, and seniors Charlotte Heath and Alice Hodge make up the experienced core of the team. They are joined by freshman Bella Bugg and sophomore transfer Mirabel Ting.

With the goal of extending their 12-year streak of reaching the NCAA championship tournament, the Seminoles are determined to build on last year’s success. Both Charlotte Heath and Lottie Woad received All-American First-Team honors following their outstanding performance in the previous season. The team had an impressive record last year, finishing in the top five in nine team events.

At the ANNIKA Intercollegiate, which took place from September 11-13, the Seminoles faced tough competition from nine other talented teams ranked in the Preseason Mizuno WGCA Coaches Poll. Despite the colder weather in Minnesota, the team showcased their skills and resilience.

Lottie Woad and Kaylah Williams led the team on the first day of the tournament, both shooting 70 (-2). Woad made four birdies, while Williams posted three birdies and an eagle, placing them both in a seven-way tie for 12th place. Senior Charlotte Heath also had an impressive performance, shooting 1-under with two birdies and one bogey. Going into the second day, she was in a 10-way tie for 19th place.

After a strong start, the Seminoles continued to excel in the following rounds. On the second day, Woad made seven birdies, finishing at 4-under for the day. With a cumulative score of 6-under, she found herself in a five-way tie for third place. Kaylah Williams also played well, shooting 71 (-1) with five birdies, ending the day in a tie for 13th place. Charlotte Heath maintained her consistent performance, shooting 1-under once again and remaining in the top 20.

With their collective efforts, the team maintained their seventh place spot throughout the tournament. On the final day, Lottie Woad elevated her game even further, shooting 2-under par with five birdies. This stellar performance led her to a four-way tie for first place, securing her third individual championship.

Kaylah Williams and Charlotte Heath both ended the tournament in a five-way tie for 18th place, finishing at 2-under for the tournament. Overall, the Seminoles performed admirably, finishing seventh among the 12 participating teams, shooting 5-under with their four qualifying scores.

The Florida State women’s golf team will have two more outings this fall. They will head to the University of Oklahoma for the Schooner Fall Classic from September 23-25, where they are the defending champions. To wrap up their fall season, the team will travel to the University of North Carolina for the Tar Heel Invitational on October 9-10.

With their strong start to the season, the Seminoles are poised to continue their success and make a run at extending their streak of reaching the NCAA championship tournament. Led by standout players Lottie Woad and Charlotte Heath, the team’s depth and talent will undoubtedly propel them to even greater achievements in the upcoming events.

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