May 17, 2011
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) - Florida State University sophomore Jessica Negron will tee off Wednesday at 8:55 CST in the NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship finals on the Traditions Course on Bryan, Texas as she begins her quest to win a national championship. Negron earned her second consecutive trip to the championship finals as she finished as the top ranking individual who was not on one of the top eight teams to qualify to play for the national team championship at the NCAA East Regional Championship.
Negron carded an even par 216 and finished in a tie for third place in the individual standings at the 2011 NCAA East Regional Championship on the Legends Course at LPGA International May 5-7 in Daytona Beach, Fla. Negron was in a tie for first place in the individual standings after the first round of the regional championship as she carded a season's best score of 69. Negron finished only three strokes out of second place and only nine strokes behind the regional champion - Stephanie Meadow of Alabama.
At the NCAA East Regional Championship, Negron was in a tie for first place after her first round score of 69, in a tie for third place with a 36 hole total of 142 and in a tie for third place in the final standings with an even par score of 216. She was one of only five players in the individual race that finished the event at or below par on the course annually utilized for Qualifying School for the LPGA Tour.
The Ocala, Fla. native will play in her second career NCAA Championship finals after helping the Seminoles to a 10th place finish in the team standings in 2010. She finished in a tie for 21st place in the individual standings in helping Florida State to its highest ever team finish in the event.
Negron helped Florida State to a national ranking as high as 28th by Golfstat this spring and has totaled two top 10 individual finishes - a tie for 10th at the Kinderlou Forest Challenge and a tie for third place at the NCAA East Regional Championships - to rank third on the team with two top 10 individual finishes during the spring season. He also earned the best individual ACC Championship finish of her career as she finished in a tie for 11th place in leading Florida State to a fifth place finish in the conference championship.
"I am feeling a vast mixture of feelings," said Negron following her second and final practice round before her Wednesday morning tee time. "I'm used to playing a practice round with four of my teammates - my best friends - and it's strange not having them here. But is also great to be able to be with coach and get a lot of invaluable one on one coaching. I really want to represent my teammates at the Seminole golf program; that's my main goal. I want to represent Florida State and hopefully put myself in a good position throughout each of the four days of play."
Negron has a personal tradition of playing extremely well in the NCAA regionals and the NCAA championship final. She was in a tie for first place in the individual standings after the first round of the 2011 NCAA East Regional after shooting a 69, was in a tie for eighth place following the first round after shooting a one over par 73 at the 2010 NCAA Central Regional Championship and was seventh place after one round at the 2010 NCAA Championship finals after carding a three under par 69. She finished in a tie for third place in the individual standings at the 2011 NCAA East Regional, finished in a tie for 22nd in the individual standings at the 2010 NCAA Central Regional championships and finished in a tie for 21st place at the 2011 NCAA Championship finals.
"I have never realized that I do play well at the end of the season," Said Negron. "But playing well in the month of May is what you prepare for in college golf. I feel like my swing is where I want it to be, I am confident and it's the last tournament of the year. It's the time of year that I should be playing my best; the nationals are what we all work for all season long."
For first year Seminoles head coach Amy Bond, it's her first trip to the NCAA finals as a head coach. As an assistant coach at Florida State, she helped the Seminoles to championship finals in 2003, 2004 and 2006. As a player at Florida State she helped the Seminoles to a 13th place finish at the NCAA Championship finals in 1999.
"Jess has had two really great days of practice and I am excited to see her attack the course over the next four days," said Bond. "Her approach to this course has been awesome and her mindset entering the tournament is the aspect of her game that I am the most pleased with. Jess is here to have fun, represent herself and Florida State University and perform well. She is on a mission and really wants to play well."
Negron will play with Lindy Duncan of Duke and Marta Silva Zamora in the first and second rounds of the four round event. The trio will tee off at 8:55 CST on Wednesday and 1:25 CST on Thursday. The tee times for Friday and Saturday will be determined by results on Friday and Saturday.
Live scoring of all four rounds can be found at NCAA.com.