Masters memories come to life for women amateurs

Olivia Mehaffey: Royal County Down golfer qualifies in top 30 for Augusta National

Kupcho heads to Augusta National with 1-shot lead | Miami Herald

Jennifer Kupcho made history on Saturday as she completed a wire-to-wire victory at the inaugural Augusta National Women's Amateur courtesy of a remarkable back-nine rally.

Following the first women's competitive round played at Augusta National, it was a double celebration for Kupcho as she hoisted the silver and gold Tiffany-designed cup at a club that just seven years ago did not have a single woman member.

Only six women finished under par, and no one challenged Kupcho or Fassi, a senior at Arkansas from Mexico.

Fassi shot 2-under 70 Saturday, but had crucial bogeys on the par-3 16th and par 4 18th during Kupcho's charge.

Mehaffey carded four birdies and four bogeys in her second round and is six shots behind American Jennifer Kupcho.

Augusta's trademark lightning-quick and undulating greens took a toll on rivals as Kupcho and Fassi battled beneath the Georgia pines in fabled Amen Corner, women shining for the first time over some of golf's most famous holes.

American duo Zoe Campos (72) and Kaitlyn Papp (74) shared fifth place on one under. But she saved par from a bunker on the 17th with a 10-foot putt, saw a leaderboard and knew only an eagle would suffice on the par-5 closing hole.

Even though she was not the most accurate with her driver, she felt she held an advantage over the field at Augusta National.

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"Very excited to play Augusta National tomorrow", Loy said.

"It's just like it's hard to explain in words because I never expected it to be that special" said Ana Belac.

However, she added: "I've only been in February so the conditions were really different to what I'm going to get the week before the Masters".

It's only as recent as 2012 that the golfing mecca lifted its ban on female members and this round of 18 holes will represent the first time an all-female event has taken place at the home of the Masters.

"I definitely think my length will help. It also got me in some trouble, but I think at Augusta National, it's going to be really beneficial just to help me hit those high shots that land soft to those greens".

"I think it's going to have a great effect around the world".

Opened for play in 1933, Augusta National became the private sanctuary for some of the world's most powerful men and it was nearly 80 years before the club welcomed its first women members in 2012, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and financier Darla Moore.

"It's just a great moment in golf for women amateurs to be able to have this opportunity", Lopez said.

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