Americans dominant in Curtis Cup victory as Coloradan Kupcho wins singles match and goes 3-1-1 for the week
by Gary Baines
Two of the most lopsided matches in the history of the Curtis Cup have been contested in Colorado.
The biggest margin of victory out of the first 39 biennial matches held between women amateurs from the U.S. and Great Britain & Ireland was 11 points — a 14.5-3.5 win for the U.S. — when Denver Country Club hosted the event in 1982.
And, before the number of matches increased to what it is now (20), the Americans beat GB&I 8-1 in 1962 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs.
So perhaps it was only fitting that in the first Curtis Cup since 1994 that a Coloradan was on the U.S. player roster, the Americans scored the biggest Curtis Cup victory ever, points-wise. With NCAA individual champion Jennifer Kupcho of Westminster winning her singles match on Sunday in Scarsdale, N.Y., the U.S. finished off a 17-3 rout of GB&I.
That gave the Americans back the Cup after GB&I had won in 2016, and the U.S. now leads 29-8-3 all time in the matches.
The Americans swept all five sessions of the event and all eight singles matches on Sunday. (The winning U.S. team is pictured above, with Kupcho fourth from right. Photos courtesy of Mike Kupcho.)
Kupcho was playing in her first — and probably only — Curtis Cup given that she’s planning to turn pro next year. And she finished the nationally-televised competition with 3-1-1 individual record, winning the Sunday singles match, the Saturday four-ball and the Friday foursomes; halving the Friday four-ball; and losing the Saturday foursomes.
Kupcho, a 21-year-old senior-to-be at Wake Forest, was one of just five players to participate in all five sessions of the 2018 Curtis Cup. And no one played as many holes in this event as did Kupcho (86), the No. 2-ranked women’s amateur in the world.
Suffice it to say it’s been quite a last month or so for Kupcho, who won NCAA regionals and the national title, then this week was part of a record-breaking performance in the Curtis Cup.
“It means a lot, just to get it done with my team watching me at NCAAs. And now with the U.S. team with a bunch of girls I competed against at NCAAs … It’s just a great feeling,” Kupcho said on FS1 Sunday afternoon.
On Sunday, Kupcho (left) scored a 2 and 1 win over Lily May Humphreys. The Jefferson Academy graduate lost the first hole to a birdie by Humphreys, but won the next three holes — with a birdie and two pars — and never trailed again. Humphrey squared the match with a birdie on 9 and was within 1 down on multiple occasions on the back nine. But Kupcho hit an approach to 2 feet and made birdie to win the 16th hole. Then the Coloradan two putted for par on 17 to close out Humphrey.
Kupcho finished even-par for 17 holes in her singles victory, making two birdies and two bogeys.
The Americans had already secured the team victory by the time Kupcho won, but she contributed to the rout.
“I’m very proud of these girls,” U.S. captain Virginia Derby Grimes said on FS1. “They’re a phenomenal group of girls.”
This isn’t the only time this year that Kupcho will represent the U.S. in a prestigious amateur team competition. Coming up July 6-8 in France, she’ll play on the first Arnold Palmer Cup that also features women’s teams. The competition is between college players from America and their international counterparts.
For all the scores from the Curtis Cup, CLICK HERE.