Oct. 5, 2004
Jaclyn Burch, a sophomore on the Seminole women's golf team, is in her sophomore season as one of the Seminoles' most experienced players. She has already competed in one NCAA Championship, one NCAA Regional Championship and one ACC Championship after she earned her way into the Seminoles' starting lineup as a freshman. Burch played well in her first career NCAA Championship appearance with four scores in the 70's and a 72 in the final round of the event. Her career-best single-round score of even-par 72 was in the fourth round of the NCAA Championship and she was the highest ranking Seminole on the final day of her first NCAA Championship. She sat down with seminoles.com and shared some of her thoughts, goals and hopes for the upcoming season.
What made you decide to come to Florida State? The main reason I came to Florida State was because I want to play on the LPGA Tour and I feel that Coach Dillman and Coach Bond will help me get there. My goal is to play on the LPGA and I feel like one way I could get there is by coming to Florida State. I also wanted to play at a school in a warm weather climate so I could work on my short game all year long. During the long, cold winters in St. Louis I could only hit balls on a range and I couldn't work on my complete game. I really enjoyed Florida State when I came on my visit and immediately felt I was becoming part of an extended family. I really like the members on the team, and I thought of all the other teams and schools I was looking at that FSU was the best fit. The academics also meant a great deal to my family and me. I feel that the education I am earning at Florida State is going to last me a lifetime.
In the year since you came here, have you adjusted well to the new environment? I knew Florida State was going to be the right situation for me when I decided to come here to get a top-notch education and play on a nationally competitive golf team. I feel that I have adapted well to the environment. The football games are terrific and I love being able to play golf anytime I want. I love the team, my teammates and the entire and the atmosphere surrounding my collegiate experience. College is a great experience and I think FSU is the best school that I could have chosen.
What did it mean to you to make it to the NCAA Championships as a freshman? One of the goals we have set for ourselves as a team is to make it to nationals every year. I was so excited to go to nationals with such a great team as a freshman. The team is what made the experience so much fun and we were all able to experience nationals together. After a year of hard work it was a nice ending to the season and a good way to say goodbye and thanks to the seniors. It was an awesome experience. One of my goals is to play in the NCAA Championship each season I am here at Florida State.
What can you say about posting your career-best round at the NCAA Championships? Playing well at the NCAA Championship was a great feeling. It was especially gratifying because it was the end my first season and gave me confidence heading into my sophomore season. It also showed that I had learned what Coach Dillman and Coach Bond had been teaching me throughout the season. The 72 really made me feel good about the season. It was a great way to close my first year at college and I felt like it was the beginning of my career at Florida State. It also meant a lot because my parents where there to watch it.
You are one of the more experienced players on the team. Does a leadership role come with that experience? I was able to gain a lot of valuable experiences during my freshman season. I hope the freshmen feel they can come to me when they need something because I may have been through a situation they are facing in their lives. It would be a great compliment for my teammates to look at me as a leader.
What part of your game would you say separates you from the field? I would say that my woods are one of my strengths. My putting and chipping have improved significantly since I arrived at Florida State because of the coaching and facilities we have here at Florida State. My driver is down the fairway almost every hole and my irons are becoming more and more accurate. Another of my strengths is my work ethic. I feel like I am continuing to improve because I enjoy practicing even if it is raining or cold. I seem to get into bad moods when I CAN'T practice.
What is one aspect of your game that you would like to improve for this season? I would really like to learn new shots around the greens. I would also like to be able to have more knock in birdies instead of six foot chances for birdies. My game is starting to come around, but there is more for me to learn.
Does your experience in playing upper-level junior events help you when you're playing at the NCAA Division I level? My junior golf career taught me many things about the game of golf which I continue to use in my game today. One important thing my junior golf career did was help me learn about being in pressure situations, and how to continue playing well in those situations. My experiences in junior golf also helped me fall in love with the game even more because I thrive off of competition and the competition in college golf is even more exciting than I could have ever imagined. What really prepared me for college golf was playing in women amateur tournaments like the US Women's Am before I came to Florida State my freshman year.
What would you say is your greatest accomplishment in golf to date? I would say that being able to earn an education and play golf at Florida State are two of my biggest accomplishments to date. I have always wanted to play golf at the Division I level and it is a terrific feeling to be living one of my goals after only having played golf five years. I have already accomplished one of my many goals and that is a very good feeling. Also, finishing the season with a 72 at the NCAA Championship was a really good way to end my freshman season. At the biggest tournament of the year I shot a 72 - something I would like to do more often.
What are some of your personal and team goals for this season? My personal goals for my sophomore season is to be one of the top players in the country, help our team make it to Nationals, and help our team finish at the top at Nationals. I know I have it in me, but I want to be patient and let the game come to me. We have a lot of talent so I know we can make it.