Kupcho wins Women's Amateur at Augusta

by Leon Thompson April 7, 2019, 0:27
Kupcho wins Women's Amateur at Augusta

"It's exciting to be a part of history", Lopez said.

Kupcho hit the opening tee shot on Wednesday at Champions Retreat, where the opening two rounds were played.

University of Arkansas senior Maria Fassi will be one of the first 30 collegiate women ever to play a competitive round at Augusta National on Saturday.

There is little known reason why the club finally opened membership to women 10 years later.

Augusta only relaxed its male-only policy back in 2012, when former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was one of the first women allowed to become a member of the club, and hosting its first tournament for women was the next big step, announced at last year's Masters.

"I think it is special for him to be here with me because we are going to remember this forever".

It featured all the heritage of Augusta National, including honorary tee shots by Nancy Lopez, Lorena Ochoa, Se Ri Pak and Annika Sorenstam.

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"This has huge potential to not just inspire young girls but golfers".

Unfazed, Fassi picked up birdies on two of her final four holes to finish 2-under for the day.

The Masters course did not allow female members until 2012. Sorenstam and her daughter walked with the final group. The top 30 golfers advance to the final. The good friends, who both qualified for the LPGA Tour last fall but chose to stay in college for their senior years, battled it out over the final 18.

That was answered by a birdie from Fassi at the 14th as she holed a tricky downhill putt, but Kupcho hit back again with another superb second shot over the water at the par-five 15th to set up a birdie from the back of the green. She hit the green in two and rolled in a short eagle putt. "I'm going to pretend it's the final round of the event and see what I can shoot out there".

At 21, she has the game at her feet. She opened play on No. 10 and posted a two on the par-3 11th hole. Instead, it came out with a sharp draw, with enough distance to roll by the pin just over the back, setting up a birdie. She birdied No. 12, No. 16 and No. 18. Fassi's tee shot stayed on the top shelf, leading to a three-putt that put the tournament in Kupcho's hands.

"It was disappointing today", Loy said.

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