Colorado ironwoman Kupcho splits her Saturday matches as U.S. on verge of reclaiming Curtis Cup
by Gary Baines
At this point, Jennifer Kupcho must be a little tuckered out, both physically and emotionally.
Through two days of the nationally televised Curtis Cup matches in Scarsdale, N.Y., the Westminster resident has the distinction of playing more holes this week than any other competitor in the biennial matches between the U.S. and Great Britain & Ireland.
The Women’s NCAA individual champion not only has competed in all four sessions of the event so far — two rounds of four-ball (better ball) and two of foursomes (alternate shot) — but she’s played a combined 69 holes over two days.
Only four other golfers out of the 16 total have played all four sessions — Amerians Lilia Vu and Kristen Gillman, and GB&I’s Olivia Mehaffey and Sophie Lamb.
Four of the five ironwomen competed against one another in Saturday afternoon’s foursomes, with Mehaffey and Lamb defeating Kupcho and Vu, the top two ranked women’s amateurs in the world, 2 and 1.
Kupcho (pictured in photos courtesy of Mike Kupcho) teamed with Gillman in the morning for a 3 and 2 victory over Mehaffey and Lamb. So going into Sunday’s singles, Kupcho owns a 2-1-1 record. Needing at least 10.5 points to win the Curtis Cup, the U.S. leads 9-3 through two days. GB&I has won two of the last three Curtis Cup competitions — including in 2016 — but the Americans are up 28-8-3 all time in the matches.
FS1 will televise the singles matches on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., concluding most prestigious team event in women’s amateur golf.
Kupcho, a graduate of Jefferson Academy who will be a senior at Wake Forest beginning in the fall, and Gillman led from the ninth hole on in their four-ball match on Saturday. They played their last nine holes in 5 under par to pull away. Gillman also won in the afternoon, making her 4-0 in this competition.
In the afternoon foursomes, Kupcho and Vu never led and trailed continuously after the second hold. After being 1 up through eight, Mehaffey and Lamb won the ninth and 11th holes with pars to stand 3 up with six to play.
The Americans cut the deficit slightly down the stretch. Kupcho drained a 3-foot par for the win on No. 13 and hit the green on the par-5 14th in two. But the U.S. duo three-putted for a disappointing par on the hole and Mehaffey halved it with a 12-foot putt. After additional halves with pars on 15 and 16, Kupcho had an 8-foot birdie putt on 17 to extend the match, but hit it through the break.
Surprisingly, given the stature of the two players, Kupcho and Vu didn’t make any birdies after the first hole Saturday afternoon. They finished 5 over par for 17 holes.
GB&I have won just two matches out of the 12 held so far, and Mehaffey and Lamb have done the honors in both cases, in Friday foursomes and Saturday foursomes.
For all the scores from the Curtis Cup, CLICK HERE.