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

10/26/2006 - Golf

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.