Meet the Quarterfinalists

By Christina Lance, USGA
September 21, 2011

Helene Beat, 29, Sylvania, Ohio

Advanced to the quarterfinals with a 2-and-1 victory over Sharon Park … eliminated stroke-play medalist Meghan Stasi in the second round … competing in her first USGA championship … 2010 Toledo Women’s District Golf Association Player of the Year … a reinstated amateur since July 2010 … prior to reinstatement, worked as a teaching professional at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio … spent one winter season at Lake Nona Golf & Country Club in Orlando, Fla. … 2004 graduate of the University of Toledo who received Scholastic All-American honors in 2004 … received an MBA in June 2011 … currently a financial advisor for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney … a fitness buff who has completed three half-marathons … married to Ryan Beat

Robin Burke, 49, Houston, Texas

Advanced to the quarterfinals with a 19-hole victory over Kathy Kurata … also went 19 holes in her third-round victory over Shirley Trier … playing in her 20th Women’s Mid-Amateur, having reached the semifinals in 1998, 2005 and 2010 … runner-up at the 1997 Women’s Amateur … has also competed in the Women’s Open and Women’s State Team … a member of the 1998 USA Curtis Cup Team … winner of the 2001 Ione D. Jones/Doherty Women’s Amateur Championship … a vice president at Champions Golf Club in Houston … married to Jack Burke Jr., winner of the 1956 Masters Tournament and PGA Championship

Virginia Grimes, 47, Meridian, Miss.

Advanced to the quarterfinals with a 2-up victory over Margaret Shirley … winner of the 1998 Women’s Mid-Amateur at Champions Golf Club … runner-up at the 2004 championship, and a semifinalist in 1995 and 2006… a member of Alabama’s winning team at the 1997 Women’s State Team … competing in her 13th Women’s Mid-Amateur … also has competed in the Women’s Open and Women’s Amateur … a member of the 1998, 2000 and 2006 USA Curtis Cup Teams … runner-up at the Mississippi Women’s Golf Association’s State Amateur Championship, and a three-time past champion … two-time winner of the South Atlantic Amateur and Southern Amateur … 1987 graduate of Auburn University … the head women’s golf coach at Auburn University from 1991 to 1994 … inducted into the “Tiger Trail of Auburn” in 2002 … named to the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2004 … married to Dr. Ben Grimes

Tara Joy-Connelly, 38, Pembroke, Mass.

Advanced to the quarterfinals with a 2-up victory over Andrea Kraus … competing in her seventh U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur … has also competed in the Girls’ Junior, Women’s Amateur and Women’s State Team … winner of the 2003 Women’s Golf Association of Massachusetts’ State Amateur, and a three-time runner-up … winner of the 1995 and 1996 New England Women’s Golf Association’s Amateur Championship  … named the WGAM’s Player of the Decade for 2000-09 … a reinstated amateur since 2001 … 1995 graduate of the University of Miami … a golf-shop merchandiser at Cohasset Golf Club … married to J.P. Connelly

Martha Leach, 49, Hebron, Ky.

Advanced to the quarterfinals with a 5-and-4 victory over 2012 Curtis Cup Team Captain Patricia Cornett … winner of the 2009 Women’s Mid-Amateur at Golden Hills Golf & Turf Club in Ocala, Fla. … competing in her 23rd U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur … has also competed in the Women’s Open, Women’s Amateur, Girls’ Junior and Women’s State Team … winner of the 1992 Women’s Texas Golf Association’s State Amateur Championship … winner of the 1979 Bermuda Amateur … winner of the 1978 Georgia State Girls’ Junior … 1983 graduate of the University of Georgia … a realtor and part-time substitute teacher … married to John Leach, the director of golf at Traditions Golf Club … one daughter, Madison … sister of six-time USGA champion Hollis Stacy

Brenda Pictor, 56, Marietta, Ga.

Advanced to the quarterfinals with a 2-up victory over Shawn Farmer … shot a 2-over 146 to win stroke-play medalist honors … competing in her fourth Women’s Mid-Amateur … has also competed in the Women’s Open, Women’s Amateur, Senior Women’s Amateur and Women’s State Team … a semifinalist at the 2009 Senior Women’s Amateur … winner of the 2010 North & South Senior Women’s Amateur and the runner-up in 2011 … a four-time winner of Georgia State Golf Association’s Senior Women’s Championship, including the last three years … winner of the inaugural GSGA Senior Women’s Match Play Championship in 2011 … 2007-2010 GSCA Senior Women’s Player of the Year … graduate of Mississippi University for Women with a B.S. in 1977 and an M.S. in 1979 … a commercial realtor for JEBCO Ventures, Inc. … married to Brad Pictor … two sons, Zac and Eric

Ellen Port, 50, St. Louis, Mo.

Advanced to the quarterfinals with an 3-and-2 victory over Mina Hardin … 1995, 1996, 2000 Women’s Mid-Amateur champion and the runner-up in 2002 … four-time Women’s Mid-Amateur stroke-play medalist … competing in her 22nd Women’s Mid-Amateur … has also competed in the Women’s Open, Women’s Amateur, Women’s Amateur Public Links and Women’s State Team … a member of the 1994 and 1996 USA Curtis Cup Teams … a seven-time winner of the Missouri Women’s Golf Association’s Amateur Championship, most recently in 2010 … a 13-time winner of the Metropolitan Amateur Golf Association’s Women’s Amateur Championship, most recently in 2010 … 1983 graduate of the University of Missouri … a teacher and coach at John Burroughs School … married to Andy Port … two children, Drew and Katie

Thuhashini Selvaratnam, 35, Sri Lanka

Advanced to the quarterfinals with a 3-and-2 victory over Laura Coble … runner-up to Meghan Stasi at the 2006 Women’s Mid-Amateur at Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point, Miss. … competing in her 10th Women’s Mid-Amateur … a member of Arizona’s winning team at the 2007 Women’s State Team … also has competed in the Women’s Amateur and Women’s Amateur Public Links … born in Sri Lanka, but currently lives in Tempe, Ariz. … winner of multiple Arizona Women’s Golf Association match-play, stroke-play and four-ball championships … a four-time winner of the Sri Lanka Amateur, the first as a 12-year-old in 1989 … the 1989 victory put her in the Guinness Book of World Records as the youngest player to win a national championship … has also won national championships in Singapore (1999), Hong Kong (1999), China (1999), India (2000) and the United Arab Emirates (2000) … 1999 graduate of Arizona State University … the varsity golf coach at Xavier College Preparatory … married to Kye Hattemar

Christina Lance is a coordinator of championship communications for the USGA. Email questions or comments to

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