Thuhashini Selvaratnam had been close to a USGA before, but the soft-spoken Sri Lankan-born golfer who now resides in Phoenix, Ariz., had to wait for a team competition to finally get it. Selvaratnam carded a 1-under 71 and high-schooler Kayla Mortellaro added a 74 to propel Arizona to a whopping eight-stroke victory over Tennessee at the USGA Women’s State Team Championship held on the Nicklaus Course at The Club at Carlton Woods in The Woodlands, Texas.
Arizona owned a precarious two-stroke advantage on Alabama through 36 holes, but after nine holes of the final round, the lead had swelled to seven over California and Tennessee.
Selvaratnam, the 2006 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur runner-up and a third-place finisher at the 2001 Women’s State Team, was determined not to let the lead slip away. The 31-year-old’s 54-hole total of 1-under 215 was the lowest individual total of the competition.
“Everything fell into place,” said Selvaratnam, a former Arizona State University standout.
Mortellaro, a high school senior, was solid with scores of 73-75-74, while Judy Miller didn’t figure in the scoring (79-86-87).
Second-place Tennessee was paced by the strong play of Dawn Woodard, who posted rounds of 68-77-74, while Shelley Anderson added rounds of 78-76-73.
Florida, led by Mary Jane Hiestand’s 6-over 222, finished third at 448, three behind Tennessee. Alabama wound up in fourth. Courtney Trimble, an assistant coach at Auburn University, paced Alabama with scores of 74-73-78.