Kayla Mortellaro is a 22-year-old professional golfer who was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. Kayla began playing the game of golf at 5 years old and competitively at 7. She knew she wanted to be a professional golfer at this early age after watching the world’s best female professional golfers compete in Arizona.
Kayla’s Arizona junior golf career included winning 45 events from the ages of 7-16. In this time frame, she never finished outside of the top 15. At 14, Kayla became the youngest to ever win the Arizona Women’s State Amateur Championship, winning the event again at 17. She was also a part of the victorious Arizona team that competed in the 2007 USGA State Team Championship, finishing 3rd individually.
In 2008, Kayla started another chapter of her life by attending college at the University of Idaho. Her success continued by winning the Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational in Hawaii as a freshman, earning WAC Freshman of the Year honors, runner-up as the WAC Player of the Year and qualified for NCAA Regionals as an individual.
By the end of Kayla’s four years at Idaho, she won 10 collegiate tournaments; earned WAC Player of the Year honors her sophomore, junior and senior years. She finished in the Top Ten 32 out of the 43 tournaments she competed in. And only finished outside of the Top 25 twice in her collegiate career. After four years as a Vandal, she graduated as the most decorated women’s golfer in the school’s history.
In addition to her golf, Kayla took great pride in her academic life by graduating with a public relations degree. She was named to the Dean’s List all four years and finished 4th amongst the graduating 135 School of Journalism and Mass Media students. Kayla earned one of the universities most prestigious awards; the Alumni Award for Academic Excellence which encompassed a student’s academic achievements, community outreach and campus involvement. Kayla was one of 50 undergrad students to win the award her senior year.
Before going back to Idaho for her senior year, Kayla played in a Cactus Tour event, which is a mini professional tour based in Arizona. Competing as an amateur, Kayla won the event played at Whirlwind Golf Course with a -7 total for three days.
After graduating in May 2012, Kayla then seamlessly transitioned from an amateur to a professional, playing in her first tournament as a pro at the Colorado Women’s Open. Kayla finished in a tie for 3rd.
The next major hurdle was competing in LPGA Qualifying School. Kayla qualified through stages I and II. She now has guaranteed status on the Symetra Tour for the 2013-2014 season. She will be headed to Daytona Beach, Florida to compete in Stage III Nov. 28- Dec. 2 for the opportunity to obtain a LPGA tour card.