Jennifer Kupcho of the United States plays her second shot on the 18th hole during the second round of the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur at Champions Retreat Golf Club on April 04, 2019 in Evans, Georgia. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
By Stephen Hennessey
There will be many enduring memories of this week’s inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur, especially in Saturday’s final round, starting with Hall of Famers such as Annika Sorenstam and Nancy Lopez hitting the opening tee shots. The shot of the day thus far, however, came courtesy of eventual champion Jennifer Kupcho at Augusta National’s famous par-5 13th hole.
Kupcho, the No. 1-ranked women’s amateur in the world and a senior at Wake Forest, executed one of the best shots you’ll see into the 13th hole—the tight dogleg left that completes famed Amen Corner at Augusta National. She hit a perfect tee shot, leaving her a 200-plus-yard fairway wood approach into the green protected by Rae’s Creek in front. Down by two to playing competitor Maria Fassi at the time, Kupcho pulled off an amazing shot—even more impressive particularly under the circumstances. You have to watch it to truly appreciate it:
— Augusta National Women's Amateur (@anwagolf) April 6, 2019
To hit a hybrid with enough trajectory to stop it close to the hole at the 13th—that’s a shot few people have in their bag. And it was one of the better shots we’ve seen at the 13th hole in recent memory.
As it often does in the Masters, the risk-reward 13th hole presents a chance to have a serious impact on who wins the tournament, and that was the case on Saturday—as Kupcho went onto secure the title with birdies at 15, 16 and 18. In what became a two-competitor race at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, Kupcho gained two shots with the first eagle of Saturday’s final round to tie Fassi atop the leaderboard after Fassi parred.
Jennifer Kupcho and Fassi—and all the women competing this week—have truly impressed throughout the final round. Kupcho hit another impressive hybrid approach into the par-5 15th hole to set up a birdie that brought her into a tie with Fassi again for the lead with Fassi birdieing the 14th hole. And then a birdie at the 16th hole by Kupcho, and a bogey by Fassi gave her a two-stroke advantage—after trailing by two at the 13th hole. With a birdie at 18, Kupcho played the final six holes at 5-under par—the type of play we see from Masters champions—for a final-round 67 at Augusta National.
There has been some great golf under the pressure of this inaugural tournament, but the shot on No. 13 by Kupcho will be one that we’ll admire for years to come. And like the Masters, Kupcho secured some crystal with that ultra impressive eagle.