Augusta - South Africa’s Kaleigh Telfer closed out a top 12
finish at Augusta National as the world's top-ranked amateur Jennifer Kupcho
from the United States became the first champion of the Augusta National
Women's Amateur on Saturday.
began the inaugural event strong and was third on her own after an opening
three-under-par 69 at the Champions Retreat Golf Club and looked a shoe-in for
the top 30 who would contest the final round on the hallowed turf of the
Masters venue, but a second round 76 to slip to three-over landed the GolfRSA
Elite Squad in a sudden-death playoff for the last 10 spots.
Bryanston golfer made a spectacular up-and-down in extra time to seal her start
at Augusta National.
bumpy front nine, Telfer found her stride and reeled in birdies at 13, 15 and
17 for a one-under-par 71 to tie for 12th on two-over 218.
was trailing playing partner Maria Fassi from Mexico by two strokes after 12
holes, but she played her final six holes in five-under par to prevail.
on the par-five 13th kick-started impressive second-nine stretch for the Wake
Forest senior that also featured birdies on the par five 15th, par three
16th and the iconic par four closing hole, where she drained a 25-footer
in the round, 21-year-old Kupcho fought a migraine that resulted in blurry
vision, but she battled back to record a five-under-par 67 - fittingly, the
lowest round of the championship - to win by four strokes on 10-under-par 206.
always a great feeling to win, but to win at Augusta National is an experience
like none other,” said the champion.
“Just to get to walk the fairways and walk
up 18 with as many fans as there were was amazing.
think, first of all, for me to hit the first tee shot of the tournament was a
great honour. And then to be able to hit the last putt and to win, it's just
amazing. It's an amazing feeling, to have my brother here, to have my parents
here, everyone out there supporting me. It was quite a day."
Asian Games gold medallist Yuka Saso from the Philippines and Japan's Yuka
Yasuda tied for third on two-under 214.
Zoe Campos (72), one of the youngest players in
the field at age 16, and Kaitlyn Papp (74) were tied for fifth at one-under-par
215, while Sweden’s Beatrice Wallin shared seventh on even-par with Haylee
Harford and Haley Moore from the United States.
Sierra Brooks and Alice Hewson rounded out the top 10 on one-over 217.