Furman’s Srinivasan earns national honor

Sports

GREENVILLE, S.C. — Furman senior Natalie Srinivasan has been named the 2020 Division I PING WGCA National Player of the Year, as announced today by the organization.

A native of Spartanburg, S.C., Srinivasan, who earlier this week became the seventh first team All-American selection in the history of the Paladin program and the first since 1998, finished the 2019-20 season as the top-ranked active collegiate women’s golfer, according to the most recent Golfstat ratings.  She boasted an adjusted scoring average of 70.51 during her senior campaign, and on Wednesday, she was announced as a finalist for the Golfweek ANNIKA Award.

“It is such an honor to be named the 2020 Division I PING WGCA Player of the Year,” said Srinivasan.  “I would like to thank the NCAA and the WGCA for this amazing opportunity.  I also can’t thank my coach, Jeff Hull, enough for all of his dedication to me over the last four years.  Without him, I would not be where I am today.  This award means so much in the golf world, and I couldn’t be more grateful to receive it and end my senior year at Furman this way.”

Srinivasan won two tournaments, the Glass City Invitational and the Lady Paladin Invitational, in September then opened the 2020 spring season with an individual victory at the Moon Golf Invitational in Melbourne.  In March, she finished as runner up at the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate in Hilton Head.  Srinivasan, who earned an invitation to the Augusta National Women’s Amateur for the second-consecutive year, paced the Paladins with a 70.8 stroke average over 18 rounds in 2019-20, the best single-season stroke average ever for a Paladin women’s golfer.  She concludes her Paladin career with a 72.6 stroke average over 118 rounds, the best career stroke average in Furman women’s golf history. 

“I am so proud of Natalie for being the recipient of the Division I PING WGCA player of the year award,” said Hull.  “She had an amazing career at Furman, and for her to cap it off with this award is a testament to her hard work and dedication over the past four years.  Natalie epitomizes what a student-athlete should be and has set a very high bar going forward.”

A three-time All-SoCon selection, Srinivasan earned a Golfweek All-American honorable mention citation as a junior in 2018-19 season.  She finished in a tie for 17th at the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur and concluded the season ranked 42nd nationally.  She led the Southern Conference and the Paladin team with a 72.7 stroke average over 29 rounds.  

Srinivasan, who competed in the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open, earned a WGCA All-America honorable mention citation and claimed Golfweek third team All-America honors during her sophomore campaign in 2017-18.  She tied the Furman low-round record at the time with a 65 in the opening round of the 2018 NCAA Tallahassee Regional, where she went on to finish third.  The 2018 Southern Conference Player of the Year, Srinivasan concluded the season ranked 26th nationally after leading Furman with a 72.36 stroke average over 36 rounds.

A member of Phi Beta Kappa, America’s most prestigious honor society, Srinivasan holds a 3.87 GPA in health sciences and will turn pro after graduating in May.  She was the recipient of the Winston Babb Memorial Award, which is given by the Furman Chapter of Omicron Delta Kappa to the woman in each class who has demonstrated the most outstanding qualities of leadership, scholarship, and service to the university.

Recognized annually as the nation’s top honor in women’s collegiate golf, the PING WGCA Player of the Year Award is awarded to the best player in Division I, II, III and NAIA women’s golf.  The award was first given in 1987, and the names of recipients reads as a who’s who of the best of the ladies’ game, including Amanda Blumenherst (a three-time selection), Lorena Ochoa (a two-time honoree), and Annika Sorenstam.  The recipient is selected by a group of women’s collegiate golf coaches who follow criteria that has been established to identify the nation’s finest player for the past year.  These criteria include head to head competition, comparison with common opponents, scoring average, place finishes in regular season events and tournament wins, plus strength of schedule.

Srinivasan becomes the fifth Furman athlete to be honored as a national player of the year, joining Frank Selvy (1954), Brad Faxon (1983), Jeff Blankenship (1988), and Louis Ivory (2000).

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