Jennifer Kupcho received the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur in 2019. After a stellar collegiate profession at Wake Forest University, she entered the occasion because the No.-1 ranked beginner in the world. In the ultimate spherical, the weekend earlier than Tiger Woods would win his fifth Masters championship on the identical course, Kupcho confronted Maria Fassi.
In the final six holes, Kupcho rallied to go 5 beneath par and beat Fassi by 4 strokes. Soon after, Kupcho turned professional, and has received over $1 million in her first two seasons.
Ahead of the second Augusta National Women’s Amateur, Kupcho, 23, shared her expertise, together with initially turning down her invitation to Augusta. The interview has been edited and condensed.
What was it prefer to get that invitation to the primary Augusta National Women’s Amateur?
When I really acquired the invite, I turned it down. I had gotten my L.P.G.A. card and determined to defer it so I may return to highschool. The motive I used to be going again was to be with my group. We had numerous tournaments lined up that spring. Initially it could have been too many tournaments. A month later, considered one of my tournaments acquired canceled. I talked it over with my faculty coaches and my mother and father. I requested Augusta in the event that they’d let me again in. At that time I used to be No. 1 in the world.
What did Augusta say once you turned down the invite?
(Laughs.) I don’t keep in mind precisely. My dad did numerous my journey stuff after I was an beginner. He did make me e-mail the event director myself to ask in the event that they nonetheless had a spot.
What was the event week like?
I had an occasion the week earlier than, with my group. My mother and father got here, and all of us drove down in my Honda Civic from faculty. I acquired to play Augusta two years earlier than with the Wake Forest group. It was good to have already performed it. I had already been awe-struck. When we first confirmed up, we acquired handled like royalty. It was so properly organized. It was in all probability the perfect event I’ve ever performed, even to today as knowledgeable golfer. After the primary night time, I mentioned I’m glad I’m taking part in in this.
What was the sensation among the many different opponents at Augusta?
We had been all simply so excited to go play Augusta. Maria and I had an honest lead over the opposite women. I felt like I used to be going into battle with Maria, however we had been additionally simply such good mates from faculty golf.
What had been you considering in the ultimate spherical?
I nonetheless suppose to today that it’s loopy. It’s like my physique simply took over. That’s true for all occasions. I observe a lot that my physique simply takes over to the place I’m simply desirous about yardages and the way am I going to hit this shot.
What did it really feel like after you received it?
I used to be so in shock. I had a lot adrenaline. It’s onerous to explain the sentiments. I didn’t embrace it for months later. Even in interviews, I used to be like, I received a event. It didn’t really feel huge to me. But now it ranks very excessive for certain. It’s a really huge second in my profession.
What will you be considering this 12 months watching the second Women’s Amateur?
The very first thing that involves thoughts is how are these women going to observe up what Maria and I did. After that, I feel, who’s going to win and do they understand how a lot that is going to alter their life? I undoubtedly didn’t.
What has turning professional been like for you in contrast together with your beginner and collegiate profession?
The largest adjustment has in all probability been in my schedule. As knowledgeable, I’m taking part in nearly each week, touring all around the world. During my beginner and collegiate profession, I had far more time in between tournaments to observe and get well, so it was a bit extra manageable.
Another adjustment has been the power of my competitors. There is a lot expertise on the L.P.G.A., and I’m taking part in towards the perfect gamers in the world each week.