Epson

Beatrice Wallin Returns to Florida State Despite Epson Tour Status

Beatrice Wallin “isn’t really a schoolgirl,” yet school is the only thing that ties her to Tallahassee, Florida, for the next three months. For one thing, the 22-year-old Swede only has one semester of college golf left. In the other, she has status on the Epson Tour.

After much deliberation, Wallin decided that she simply couldn’t take the latter until she properly closed the former. So when Florida State opens the spring at this week’s Moon Golf Invitational in Melbourne, Florida, Wallin will be there, as she has been for three and a half years.

“I can finish, I can graduate and do it all again with my team,” Wallin said. “So I’m kind of excited and not too worried about going pro and all this life because I feel like I have a lot more time to do it. We’re not going to go there. university only once.

Florida State golfer Beatrice Wallin putts on the 18th green during the NCAA Women’s Golf Championship at Grayhawk Golf Club. (Photo: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports)

It’s an unusual move for a college player. Since the LPGA began allowing college players to defer earned status until they graduate, only two players have actually chosen the option. Jennifer Kupcho and Maria Fassi notably went 1-2 at the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur in 2019 and launched into LPGA careers with glory and good notoriety.

For the record, Wallin averaged under par in the competitive rounds at Augusta National. She is the only player to place in the top 10 in a row at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur. Given these stats alone, his bet seems like a safe bet. By the time she completes the spring college season, she will have missed eight events on the Epson Tour’s 21-tournament schedule. The LPGA Developmental Tour is essentially a cash grab – only the top 10 players earn an LPGA card at the end of the season.

“If you’re one of the top 5 players in the world,” Florida State head coach Amy Bond told her eldest as they discussed options last fall, “you should hopefully be able to make enough money to at least keep your (Epson) card but I definitely feel like you can get into the top 10 if you switch your game from college golf to pro golf during the ‘summer.

At this point, Wallin countered that if she had a bad summer, she deserved to play another year on the Epson Tour anyway. Decision taken.

Three years ago, Wallin’s former teammate and roommate Frida Kinhult earned a straight bye to the final leg of the LPGA Q Series by finishing her first college season ranked in the top 5 of the league standings. end of Golfweek/Sagarin College season. Kinhult achieved his status on the Symetra Tour the following fall and decided to leave for professional golf immediately.

It opened Wallin’s eyes to the possibility that she might have the same opportunity.

“Bea said, ‘If I ever get into those five, can I go to tour school? ‘” Bond said. “I said absolutely, you’re crazy not to.” That’s what we’re all working towards, as college coaches, is to get our players off on tour at some point.

Florida State Seminoles golfer Beatrice Wallin (right) walks with her coach Amy Bond on the 10th fairway during the NCAA Women’s Golf Championship at Grayhawk Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Bond and Wallin didn’t revisit the matter until Wallin found herself ranked No. 4 at the end of her junior season and bye-stepped into Stage Two. Bond told her she had to plan to play Q-School in the fall, and most of their conversations revolved around preparation and logistics.

“With Frida, I knew how to come in,” Bond said of whether his star player would turn pro. “That’s how Frida was a striker. Frida was like, ‘If I end up in number X, then I’m leaving.’ Bea wasn’t like that – we just didn’t talk about it.

Wallin finished the Q series eight rounds at 1, good for a T-60 finish that left him five strokes short of a full LPGA card but with Epson Tour status. As Wallin returned to Tallahassee after the final lap, she chatted with Bond on the phone. She was coming back, she told her trainer.

The next morning, with a little more time to think, Wallin decided she needed to do more research. She spent time consulting Fredrik Wetterstrand, her Swedish national team coach, as well as her parents. Bond called the LPGA to see if she could play Epson events as an amateur and rack up points or money on her card (she couldn’t). They were counting exactly how many events she had missed.

“She’s a huge piece of our puzzle to be successful and for her to finish what she started, I’m extremely proud of her for betting on herself,” Bond said.

In Wallin’s mind, the return ultimately came down to the amount of work she’d already put into a humanities major at Florida State — three and a half years of studying and maintaining her grades, something that did not come easily. What difference would three months really make?

“I want to achieve this because I really put time into school,” she said of graduating. “I also want to do it for my team and me too.”

The potential for a magical spring is there for Wallin, especially as she is set to become the second four-time All-American in Florida State history (a club that only Caroline Westrup, and non Tour Seminoles winners Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger, occupy ) and will be competing in the Augusta National Women’s Amateur for the third time.

“I feel like I know more now than my freshman year playing,” Wallin said of Augusta, “like how the golf courses are and how the competition is.”

Then there’s the possibility of a deeper NCAA championship run. Last spring, Florida State missed match-play by a stroke. Wallin will figure prominently in a team that she says is ready for an overhaul.

“Of course that counted in my decision to stay,” she said. “I feel like we can do so much better. I can’t wait to have the opportunity to do it again and I hope we do better and it will be a great end to my college career.