Kupcho will attempt to qualify for her third U.S. Women’s Open on her 21st birthday at familiar course
by Gary Baines
Not that she needs any extra advantage, but Jennifer Kupcho might have one — beyond the obvious — when the Colorado-based U.S. Women’s Open qualifying tournament is held on Monday.
The Westminster resident already has a leg up on the field in many respects, given that she’s No. 3 in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Rankings, has qualified for the last two Women’s Opens, and finished 21st overall (second among amateurs) in the championship last summer. It was the best U.S. Women’s Open showing by a golfer who grew up in Colorado since Cherry Creek High School graduate Jill McGill ended up 12th in 2002.
But in addition to all that, there’s this: Kupcho is by no means a stranger to The Ranch Country Club, which will host the 36-hole qualifying tournament on Monday. Indeed, the Wake Forest junior and U.S. Curtis Cup team member has been an employee at The Ranch during the summer for the past two years and plans to be again in 2018. And because she has playing privileges there, she practices and plays there frequently during the summer.
And if you need one more reason to think earning a return trip to the U.S. Women’s Open might be in the cards, the qualifying is being held on Kupcho’s 21st birthday.
Kupcho, fresh off her second straight individual victory in a Women’s NCAA Regional, will head the field of 50 players, who will be chasing two spots in the U.S. Women’s Open, set for Shoal Creek near Birmingham, Ala., May 31-June 3. Should she qualify, Kupcho won’t be headed to Shoal Creek blind as she played there in December for a Curtis Cup practice session.
Also scheduled to compete on Monday is the other 2017 U.S. Women’s Open qualifier in Colorado. That would be Australian Robyn Choi, a University of Colorado sophomore, who missed the cut in last year’s national championship.
Kupcho and Choi are ranked No. 6 and No. 30, respecitvely, among the nation’s women’s college golfers by Golfweek.
Also teeing it up at The Ranch are CU senior Brittany Fan, who just finished sixth individually at an NCAA Regional; former University of Denver golfer Mariell Bruun, and who has conditional status on the Ladies European Tour; and Colorado State University teammates Katrina Prendergast and Ellen Secor, who recently won the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship.
U.S. Women’s Open qualifying tournaments have been held in Colorado each year since 2011. In 2018, 25 qualifying events will be contested worldwide, including 21 in the U.S.
For Monday’s tee times, CLICK HERE.