July 30, 1999
OXFORD, Miss. - Ole Miss' Robyn Rinaldo, a rising senior on the Lady Rebel golf team, qualified for the 1999 United States Women's Amateur Championship, which will be held Aug. 9-14 in Asheville, N.C. The tournament will be played at the Biltmore Forest Country Club.
"This is another tremendous accomplishment for Robyn," said Ole Miss head coach Keil Purdom, who will enter her ninth season in 1999-2000. "As the lone senior on this year's team, we are looking for her to be our leader, and the quality experience that she will gain from the U.S. Women's Amateur Championship will help her do just that. Robyn has been a key performer for us since she came to Ole Miss as a freshman, and this tournament will be another step on her path of success."
Rinaldo, a native of Dade City, Fla., qualified for the U.S. Women's Amateur by winning the Florida Ladies Amateur Championship title. She entered the final round of the Florida Ladies Amateur Championship three strokes behind the leader, but shot a tournament-low 71 (one-under par) to overcome the deficit and capture the title.
Last year, Rinaldo led the Ole Miss squad in stroke average at 75.56 and joined teammate Megan Breen as the first-ever Lady Rebels to earn All-Southeastern Conference first team honors. Ranked among the SEC leaders in stroke average all year, Rinaldo won the second tournament of her career this past spring, taking top honors at the Central Florida Invitational with a school-record score of 143 (two rounds). She also won the Lady Seminole Classic in the spring of 1997.
Rinaldo finished in a tie for 18th at the SEC Championships this past spring, and helped lead the Lady Rebels to their highest finish ever at the conference tournament with a third-place showing. Ole Miss also advanced to its second straight NCAA East Regional in 1999. Named All-SEC honorable mention in 1997 and 1998, Rinaldo also earned SEC Academic Honor Roll distinction in 1999.
In the summer of 1998, Rinaldo competed as an amateur in the U.S. Women's Open, which was held in Kohler, Wis.
Former Lady Rebel standout Lauren Mellen and incoming freshman Bernadette Luce both are first alternates for this year's U.S. Women's Amateur Championship. Last summer, rising sophomore Kim Tudor participated in the U.S. Women's Amateur Championship in Ann Arbor, Mich.
In 1999-2000, the Lady Rebels will return four starters from last year's squad which finished third at the SEC Championships and advanced to the NCAA East Regional for the second consecutive year.