Wake Forest sophomore Jennifer Kupcho claimed the individual title at the NCAA Athens Regional to advance to the NCAA Championships. Kupcho finished with a three-day total of 206 (-10) to claim the title by four strokes over Lauren Stephenson of Alabama. She will compete as an individual in the NCAA Championships.
Kupcho managed 17 birdies against just 7 bogeys over the three days to easily handle the field in Athens. With a -4 (68) round today she extended her school-record 12th consecutive round under par for Wake Forest.
While Kupcho is ranked 8th in the country, she is realistically even better than that. She finished the fall season ranked No. 1 in the country, were it not for a series of unfortunate events that led her to withdraw from a tournament earlier this year with a concussion.
She sustained a concussion when she fell off the back of a golf cart while holding on to her pushcart in the middle of a round. The concussion caused her with withdraw from the tournament after she finished her round with a 75. This dropped her precipitously down the individual rankings, where she has been fighting to get back ever since.
Kupcho is already one of, if the not the best player in Wake Forest women’s golf history. Her freshman stroke average of 73.18 was second best in school history, and she finished T-6th in the NCAA Championship last year at -1, en route to becoming the first Wake Forest women’s golfer to finish the NCAA at par or better.
Her current stroke average of 70.60 this year will be the best in Wake Forest history.
Unfortunately for Wake Forest, the team struggled immensely throughout the tournament and did not qualify for the next round.
Despite being ranked 22nd in the Golfstat rankings, the team that Wake Forest put out in the regional is far from what that ranking would suggest. The Deacs have been ravaged by injuries and transfers this season, and that continued this week when Antonia Eberhard had to withdraw after the first round with a chest injury.
This withdrawal put immense pressure on the other golfers, and the Deacs started Anna Wears (Arnold Palmer’s granddaughter) in the 5th spot, who had previously played in just two events in her career at Wake Forest.
Even with Kupcho, the team finished in 15th place out of 18 teams, 33 shots behind the cutoff line to advance to the NCAA Championships.
It was honestly one of the most bizarre spread of scores I have ever seen out of a men’s or women’s golf tournament.
Out of 96 players Wake individually finished: 1st, 24th, 91st, 93rd, WD. That is an insane spread of scores from a golf team that is a stalwart in the NCAA Tournament.
Congratulations to Jennifer Kupcho, who will move on to te national championships from May 19-24 at Rich Harvest Farms, in Sugar Grove, Illinois, hosted by Northern Illinois University.
Kupcho has a legitimate chance to win the individual National Championship, and the final three days of the championship will be televised live by the Golf Channel.