History was made this weekend when the Augusta National Golf Club welcomed the best women amateur players in the world to the first Augusta National Women’s Amateur.
The best amateur in the world claimed the first tournament title as Wake Forest golfer Jennifer Kupcho shot a 5-under par 67 on the Augusta National course to win the title by 4-shots.
Kupcho, the current NCAA champion, topped Maria Fassi from Mexico and the University of Arkansas for the win. Fassi was the 2018 Annika Award winner as the player of the year in women’s college golf.
Three golfers with area ties made the cut and were able to play the final round on The Master’s course.
Haylee Harford from Furman finished in a three-way tie for seventh place. The Furman senior improved her score each day.
Harford shot rounds of 73-72 and 71 for a 216 even par finish. The Palmer Cup player closed out her round with what will certainly be a lifetime memory.
Harford birdied the 18th hole.
“This tournament was one of the greatest experiences of my life,” said Harford. “When I made the birdie putt on No. 18, I turned around and saw the crowd cheering and just tried to take it all in,” she said.
Clemson’s Alice Hewson made some history of her own. The Tiger senior from Great Britain became the first UK women to play on the famous course.
The all-time winningest golfer in the history of the Clemson women’s program got into red numbers with birdies on number 14 and 15.
Hewson made the birdie on 15 using her putter from off the green behind the hole. The memory of that birdie putt is one that will stay with Hewson for a long time.
“The putt I holed from the back of 15. That was just incredible. The roars coming
from 16 and all down the 15th fairway, and having my whole family here to watch is really good,” she said.
Unfortunately, a double bogey on the final hole dropped the Hertfordshire golfer into a tie with University of Florida golfer Sierra Brooks for 10th place at 1-over par.
The Clemson senior entered the tournament hoping for a good showing as a way to impress potential sponsors as she gets ready to turn pro at the end of the college season.
“This is a really great opportunity, and no one else is getting the chance to play as
the first 30 women to play here. I’m really, really grateful that I’ve been able to be out here this
week and play well. I’m looking to turn pro at the end of the summer, so I think it’s a great
confidence builder and building block for what’s to come,” she said.
Furman junior Natalie Srinivasan bogeyed her first hole in the final round and then parred the next 17 to finish at 1-over par 73.
The Lady Paladin golfer from Spartanburg shot three straight rounds of 73 to finish in a tie for 17th place.
“I was a little nervous, but more excited with everyone around the tee on No. 1,” said Srinivasan. “I settled down the rest of the round and, overall, I had a great experience,” she added.
Recent Furman grad Alice Chen was also in the tournament. Chen missed the cut to play on the Masters course and finished in 51st place.