CWGA

Emotional Day

Kupcho wins NCAA Regional, marking her 3rd victory of season; CU women fall a shot short for 2nd straight year
by Gary Baines

Jennifer Kupcho of Westminster earned the biggest individual victory of her college career on Wednesday, the same day the University of Colorado suffered a heartbreaking setback for the second straight year.

Kupcho, a Wake Forest sophomore and a three-time CWGA Player of the Year, claimed the individual title at the Women’s NCAA Division I Regional in Athens, Ga. The five-stroke victory earned her an individual berth in the NCAA Finals, set for May 19-24 at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill. Last year as a freshman, Kupcho finished sixth individually in the national championships. (Kupcho is pictured celebrating with teammates in a Wake Forest photo.)

But CU won’t be joining Kupcho at the NCAA Finals. Amazingly, at a tournament in which the top six team finishers advance to nationals, the Buffs have not only placed seventh two consecutive years, but each time ended up one stroke out of sixth place.

This time, on Wednesday in Columbus, Ohio, CU was tied for sixth with Michigan until the Wolverines’ final player, Elodie Van Dievoet, birdied the final hole, giving Michigan the sixth spot outright and leaving Colorado in seventh. CU finished with a 45-over-par 909 total, with Michigan at 908.

The Buffs, runner-up in the Pac-12 tournament last month and ranked No. 20 in the nation according to Golfstat, have qualified for the NCAA Finals just once in their 23 seasons of women’s golf, in 2012.

Junior Brittany Fan led CU individually in the team’s season finale, finishing 13th, but fell a couple of shorts shy of a possible individual berth into the NCAA Finals.

As for Kupcho, she earned her third individual victory of the year. Ranked No. 5 nationally (by Golfweek; No. 8 by Golfstat) in women’s college golf, the Coloradan shot rounds of 68-70-68 for a 10-under-par 206 total in Athens. That was five better than runner-ups Cheyenne Knight and Lauren Stephenson, both of Alabama.

Kupcho, a U.S. Women’s Open qualifier last year, made 17 birdies over the course of three rounds.

She became the first Wake Forest women’s player in the last 22 years to win three times in a season. She’s now posted a dozen consecutive sub-par rounds, a program record.

“I was just hitting the ball well and my putter was on fire all week,” Kupcho said on the Wake Forest website. “I had a lot of confidence on the course and that allowed me to play well.”

Besides her three wins this season, Kupcho has finished second twice, third once and fourth once.

“Jennifer played incredibly well,” said Wake Forest coach Dianne Dailey. “She just overpowered the golf course and the field. … This will give her a lot of confidence to know that she can play with anyone in the country. I wouldn’t be surprised if she won the whole thing.”

Elsewhere in Women’s DI Regional action, the University of Denver finished 12th in Albuquerque, N.M., ending up 15 strokes behind the final team qualifier for the NCAA Finals. Senior Jessica Carty placed 18th individually for DU, falling three shots short of the final individual national berth.

Also, Oregon State, coached by longtime former Colorado resident Dawn Shockley, joined CU in finishing seventh, a spot behind the final national team qualifier. In the case of the Beavers, they were two strokes out of sixth place in Lubbock, Texas.

Meanwhile, in the Women’s NCAA Division II Regionals, Coloradan Alex Trask, who plays for William Jewell College in Missouri, earned an individual spot into the DII nationals. Trask shot rounds of 73-76-77 for a 10-over-par 226 total, which gave her eighth place overall and the third and final individual berth into the DII Finals, set for May 17-20 in Findlay, Ohio. Another Coloradan, Regis University freshman Mary Weinstein, nearly joined Trask, but lost out in a playoff for the third and final individual qualifying berth in Wichita Falls, Texas. Weinstein tied for 10th place with Oklahoma Christian’s Abigail Rigsby, who prevailed in the playoff with a par on the 18th hole.

And at the Women’s NCAA Division III Finals in Houston, former Colorado state high school champion Mackenzie Cohen, a senior at Rhodes College in Memphis, is the top Coloradan as she’s sitting in 25th place after rounds of 76-80. Cohen’s Rhodes squad leads the team competition with two rounds remaining.

WOMEN’S NCAA DIV. I REGIONALS

May 8-10, 2017 (final) in Athens, Ga.
Advances to NCAA Finals

1. Coloradan Jennifer Kupcho, Wake Forest 68-70-68–206

May 8-10, 2017 (final) in Columbus, Ohio
Failed to Advance to NCAA Finals
7. (out of 18 teams) Colorado 313-299-297–909

13. Brittany Fan 77-74-73–224
22. Kirsty Hodgkins 80-72-73–225
26. Robyn Choi 75-78-74–227
51. Esther Lee 81-75-77–233
93. Lauryn Keating 90-83-84–257

May 8-10, 2017 (final) in Albuquerque, N.M.
Failed to Advance to NCAA Finals

12. (out of 18 teams) Denver 305-300-298–903
18. Jessica Carty 76-74-71–221
27. Mariell Bruun 75-74-75–224
49. Jessica Dreesbeimdieke 75-78-75–228
71. Lauren Whyte 79-77-77–233
79. Sophie Newlove 80-75-80–235

May 8-10, 2017 (final) in Lubbock, Texas
Failed to Advance to NCAA Finals
32. Coloradan Hannah Wood, Oklahoma 75-72-75–222
32. Katrina Prendergast, Colorado State 74-76-72–222
45. Former DU golfer Elyse Smidinger, Oregon State 78-78-69–225
63. Former CU golfer Natalie Vivaldi, San Diego State 74-79-75–228

WOMEN’S NCAA DIV. II REGIONALS
May 8-10, 2017 (final) in Wichita Falls, Texas
Failed to Advance to NCAA Finals

10. Mary Weinstein, Regis 75-75-76–226

May 8-10, 2017 (final) in Canton, Ohio
Advances to NCAA Finals

8. Colorado resident Alex Trask, William Jewell College 73-76-77–226

WOMEN’S NCAA DIV. III FINALS
May 9-12, 2017 in Houston

25. Coloradan Mackenzie Cohen, Rhodes College 76-80–156
58. Coloradan Madison McCambridge, Wisconsin-Stout 83-81–164

 

2017-05-10T17:14:18+00:00 May 10th, 2017|