Prior to his breakthrough season in amateur golf, especially within the state of Florida, Chase Seiffert was a junior at Florida State University just hoping to fit in.
“They told me I have a solid head on my shoulders, will be a good fit and will fill in as a starter,” the Mosley graduate said in August 2011. “That if I play like I can play I will slide into the lineup.”
The 6-foot-3, 180-pounder slid in all right, achieving all-Atlantic Coast Conference status his initial season in NCAA Division I competition. And he didn’t stop sliding until accomplishing the first sweep of the Florida State Golf Association’s three major tournaments in that organization’s history and easily earning FSGA Player of the Year status.
Seiffert’s magical spring and summer earned him No. 4 on the list of The News Herald Sports Department’s Top 10 stories of the year.
Seiffert, 21, began his FSGA domination rather quietly by qualifying for the Amateur with a medalist round of 68. He went on to win that event by four strokes at The Bear Club in Jupiter.
He then ramped his game to gain the Florida Open trophy by an incredible nine shots at the Ritz-Carlton Members Club and eased to the Match Play title with a clinching 4-and-3 triumph against FSGA Junior Player of the Year Hank Lebioda at the Country Club of Orlando.
“I look at it as a perfect ending to a perfect summer,” Seiffert said last month. “After I won the State Am I made it a goal to obtain Player of the Year. … To win all three was unbelievable.”
Seiffert said that he has re-established heightened goals entering his senior spring season at FSU and beyond. He is hopeful of turning pro during the summer, but realizes there remains much to accomplish on the D-I level of college golf.
Seiffert participated on the Seminole squad that advanced to NCAA nationals at storied Riviera Country Club outside of Los Angeles, but didn’t play his best golf in that event.
He said he is hopeful of leaving his mark on the FSU program, despite originally transferring from a community college and only competing his second year in Tallahassee.
“It makes me set some pretty high goals,” he said of his summer of excellence. “I came into fall season expecting to play well. I wouldn’t say it kind of hurt me, but I expected the summer to continue and it didn’t.
“It taught me to stay in the present. That nothing is given in this game, and to keep working hard and get better than I was this summer.”
Player of the Year also helped get his name out to potential sponsors that could be advantageous when plans to launch his professional career.
In addition to his college and FSGA accomplishments, Seiffert previewed his coming domination by winning the 85th Sherman Invitational at Panama Country Club on May 7.
It was only Seiffert’s second appearance in the longest-running amateur event in the Southeast and it was a performance to be remembered. He shot 65 on Sunday in the final round of the 54-hole tournament. Not only did that produce a 10-stroke winning margin, but it shattered the previous tournament record total by four shots.
The Sherman was only one of five tournament titles claimed by Seiffert in 2012. His lone disappointment during his brilliant summer run might have come when he failed to qualify for the U.S. Amateur by one stroke and wasn’t able to get in as an alternate.
All that merely underscores what Seiffert could accomplish in 2013, collegiately or otherwise.
“You’ve got to keep pushing forward,” he said. “Don’t settle.”