Coloradan Jennifer Kupcho becomes first American woman to earn prestigious McCormack Medal
by Gary Baines
The hits just keep coming for Westminster resident Jennifer Kupcho.
On Friday, the USGA and the R&A announced that Kupcho has earned the Mark H. McCormack Medal as the top women’s player in the World Amateur Golf Rankings as of the conclusion of last week’s U.S. Women’s Amateur.
Kupcho, the 2018 Women’s NCAA Division I individual champion from Wake Forest, becomes the first American to win the women’s McCormack honor since it was first presented in 2011. The Coloradan is just the fourth women’s recipient overall, following Lydia Ko of New Zealand (2011 through ’13), Minjee Lee of Australia (2014) and Leona Maguire of Ireland (2015 through ’17).
“It’s a really big honor to get this medal,” said Kupcho (left), a 21-year-old who’s set to begin her senior season at Wake Forest. “Obviously it’s been a long stretch of hard work, and it’’ great to see it pay off and to have the pride of coming out on top.”
The McCormack Medal gives Kupcho spots in next year’s U.S. Women’s Open and Ricoh Women’s British Open, provided she remains an amateur. The 2019 U.S. Women’s Open is set for May 30-June 2 in Charleston, S.C. Kupcho finished 21st in that event last year.
Kupcho, who first ascended to the No. 1 spot in the women’s world amateur rankings on July 11, has helped lead U.S. teams to victories at both the Curtis Cup and Arnold Palmer Cup competitions, and she will represent America again in the Women’s World Amateur Team Championship Aug. 29-Sept. 1 in Dublin, Ireland.
In her three women’s NCAA Championship finals, Kupcho has finished sixth, second and first individually. She’s also won two consecutive NCAA regional titles. Kupcho will go into her final season having won seven individual college championships.
And last month, she posted her best finish in an LPGA Tour event, placing 16th in the LPGA Marathon Classic.
“Not only has Jennifer put together a remarkable individual season, highlighted by her NCAA Championship win, but she also represented the USA with respect, talent and passion during the Curtis Cup match,” said John Bodenhamer, USGA senior managing director of championships. “We look forward to watching her do the same as a member of our World Amateur Team.”
The McCormack Medal is named for World Golf Hall of Famer Mark McCormack, the founder of sports marketing firm IMG.