Ole Miss coach wins U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur title

Updated: October 26, 2006, 10:07 PM ET
Associated Press

WEST POINT, Miss. -- University of Mississippi coach Meghan Bolger won the U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur Championship on Thursday, beating Sri Lanka's Thuhashini Selvaratnam 5 and 4 in cold and rainy conditions at Old Waverly Golf Club.

"It's going to hit me a little bit later," the 28-year-old Bolger said."It's still very exciting right now. It's new."

The difficult conditions forced the players to use longer clubs than normal for their approach shots, but Bolger still hit 11 of 14 greens in regulations. With the usual match-play concessions, Bolger was 1 over for the match.

"I've played in a whole lot worse, condition-wise," Bolger said."My goal was to have as many pars as possible and not be stuck in the rough. I just tried to be in the fairway and hit as many greens as possible."

The 30-year-old Selvaratnam, part of three NCAA championship teams at Arizona State, struggled in the final, winning just two holes, the first with a par (after Bolger three-putted from 12 feet) and the 450-yard, par-5 ninth with a birdie.

Bolger squared the match with a winning par on the second hole, and then won three straight holes. Her par on the 382-yard fourth beat Selvaratnam's bogey. Another par won the par-4 fifth. At the 331-yard sixth, Bolger hit a pitching wedge from 95 yards within 12 feet and made the birdie putt to go 3-up.

"After making that good putt on six, I think definitely that helped me get going," Bolger said.

She went 4-up with a conceded birdie at the eighth when Selvaratnam needed five shots to reach the putting surface.

Selvaratnam's winning birdie on No. 9 reduced Bolger's advantage to three holes at the turn. Bolger regained her 4-up lead at the par-5 10th hole.

"I didn't have my hot putter like I did yesterday," Selvaratnam said."It was miserable. … It was raining and both Meghan and I had to deal with it and she played great. I told myself, 'Don't let it get to you,' and I did the best I could."

Bolger won the 11th hole with another par to go 5-up, and the match ended two holes later when both players bogeyed the par-4 14th.

The Mid-Amateur is limited to players 25 and older.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press