AUGUSTA, Georgia, April 6 (Reuters) - Jennifer Kupcho struck a blow for gender equality on Saturday when she was crowned Augusta National Women’s Amateur champion by firing a final round five-under 67 to claim a four shot victory over Mexico’s Maria Fassi.
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.
With Augusta National set to host the Masters next week, Fassi and Kupcho proved that women can also produce nerve-jangling drama with a back nine battle worthy of any major.
History dictates the Masters does not begin until the back nine on Sunday and that held true for the women who played their final round on Saturday, as Kupcho, the world’s top ranked amateur, exited Amen Corner erasing Fassi’s two shot lead with a brilliant eagle on the par five 13th.
The seesaw battle escalated with Fassi dropping a birdie at 14 and Kupcho again answering at 15.
The American turned up the pressure another notch with a birdie at 16 as Fassi blinked taking a bogey, her first since the opening hole, to hand Kupcho a two shot advantage with two to play.
After pars at 17, Kupcho would close out the historic round in style by rolling in a long range birdie putt at the last to seal a comfortable victory. (Editing by Pritha Sarkar)