Jennifer Kupcho storms to victory in Augusta National Women's Amateur
American plays final six holes at Augusta National in five under par
Last Updated: 06/04/19 10:46pm
Jennifer Kupcho produced a sensational finish at Augusta National to claim a four-shot victory in the inaugural Augusta National Women's Amateur.
After the first two rounds were played at nearby Champions Retreat on Wednesday and Thursday, the top 30 in the field teed off at Augusta National on Saturday, with world amateur No 1 Kupcho holding a one-shot lead over Mexico's Maria Fassi.
The final round developed into a duel between the pair with Fassi taking command early on, but they saved the main drama for the back nine with American Kupcho playing some incredible golf at the home of The Masters.
Fassi held a two-shot lead after 12 holes but Kupcho made a brilliant eagle on the par-five 13th, after hitting her second shot to around 10 feet, to join her at the top of the leaderboard.
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.
The American turned the pressure up another notch with a birdie at the par-three 16th thanks to a fine tee shot as Fassi three-putted for a bogey, her first since the opening hole, to hand Kupcho a two-shot advantage with two to play.
After pars at 17, Kupcho closed her round in style by rolling in a long-range birdie putt at the last to seal the victory and card a five-under 67 which took her to 10-under 206.
Kupcho later revealed she had struggled with a migraine and blurred vision from the eighth to the 11th hole that threatened to scuttle her title hopes.
"I actually got a migraine on the eighth green and kind of over to the left I just couldn't see it was blurry," said the 21-year-old. "I told my caddie I'm looking for you to read the putts and tell me where to hit it and I will do my best to hit it there.
"Amazing enough, I have gotten these migraines before so I knew the blurriness would go away and I would just have a headache. On the 11th tee was where it finally started to go away and I could finally see."
Fassi's bogey at the last left her with a two-under 70 and second place, four shots clear of Yuka Saso of the Philippines (69) and Yuka Yasuda of Japan (72).
"I did all I could, she [Kupcho] played a great game she finished really strong and I am really proud of her and I know we are going to be battling for wins in the future," said Fassi. "Yes we were competing against each other but we were friends before all of that.
"Making it at Augusta National, being the first time, it is just a dream come true."
American duo Zoe Campos (72) and Kaitlyn Papp (74) shared fifth place on one under.
England's Alice Hewson carded a level-par 72 to finish in joint-10th place with American Sierra Brooks (76), while her fellow Curtis Cup star Olivia Mehaffey of Northern Ireland finished back in joint-23rd after a 76.