Jennifer Kupcho makes birdie at 18 and wins the inaugural ANWA title with four. (Photo: Augusta National Golf Club)
In 20 years the golf world will still talk about the final round of the first Augusta National Women & # 39; s Amateur.
World No. 1 Jennifer Kupcho & # 39; s night-time lead from one line rose to a winning margin of four as she rammed home her last bird of the day on Augusta National's 18th green
But the two horse race between the American and her closest friend and the final round play partner, Maria Fassi of Mexico, will be remembered as one of the great duels that the Augusta National galleries have experienced.
Wake Forest's Kupcho showed no fear on Augusta's ninth on the way to a closing 5-under 67 (the best score of the week) and the first ANWA crown, while 21-year-old Fassi was on his way to a similar score but had to settle for a third consecutive round of 2-under 70.
It was bold golf performed with precision at one of the biggest stages of the sport. Saturday at Augusta National was the ultimate showcase of what the best female amateurs are capable of while watching the world in awe.
"I think we both just wanted to send the message that golf is about having friends, and to be there with her, we encouraged each other, and that's kind of how golf is supposed to be," Kupcho said.
"And [we wanted] to make it look nice. It's fun.
"To make it look like this for everyone, I hope it encourages people to pick up a club and start playing."
(Photo: Augusta National Golf Club)
On the 2nd tee, Kupcho & # 39; s buffer was over Fassi and the field two. But with only six holes to play, it was the Mexican with an advantage of two shots.
The American found inches of fairway at 13 and pulled the 211-yard tractor with her second, a towering strike that dropped eight feet above the flag before leading her eagle home.
"I'd say this is probably one of the best pictures I've ever taken," said Kupcho.
I just knew I had to take a big step. When I walked to the photo, I never thought about lying down. "
A seemingly nervous Fassi immediately reacted with birdie to 14 to take the lead role, to have the Mexican world No. 9 and then sink its own foot of six for par at 15.
The American weapon for finding the green in two was again her 3-hybrid, Kupcho founded another eagle's nest and two putts later she placed the scores on 8-under.
Barely two meters, the pitch markings of the duo on the par-3 16th differed, but Kupcho & # 39; s ball caught the slope and sailed under the traditional Masters Sunday pin.
Fassi & # 39; s ball hung on the top shelf, resulting in an innocent trident bogey.
Kupcho rammed her 10-footer home to make back-to-back birdies before the pair cut 17 in pars – meaning Kupcho would have the honor of the 18th tee and a two-stroke lead in her back pocket.
The 21-year-old split the fairway and the fight all-but ended when Fassi found the left fairway kick.
The final hole of one of the most historic weeks in the golf game ended with a few standing ovations, a fifth win in the final six holes for the final champion and a sense that the game's female amateurs were fully part of his biggest podium
"To win at Augusta National, just to walk the fairways and walk 18 with as many fans as there were, it's an experience like no other," Kupcho said.
"It's a great feeling. To have my brother here, to have my parents here, everyone supports me. It was a whole day."
(Photo: Augusta National Golf Club)
Filipino Yuka Saso and Yuka Yasuda from Japan flew the flag for Asian golf by remaining third in the rankings 2-under before the tournament.
First-round co-leader Zoe Campos and fellow American Kaitlyn Papp rounded the top five to 1-substandard, making it only six players to finish in the red numbers for the week.