Jennifer Kupcho wins inaugural Augusta National Women's Amateur

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

The inaugural Augusta National Women's Amateur has been a hit with average golf fans and stars alike since the first tee shots were hit on Thursday at Champions Retreat.

The 72-player field was cut to 30 players for the final round, and Kwon flubbed two chips for double bogey on the 16th hole to seemingly lose her chance.

Striking blows for gender equality with every swing, women players competed for a trophy for the first time Saturday at former men-only enclave Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters.

That was answered by a birdie from Fassi at the 14th as she holed a tricky downhill putt, but Kupcho hit back again with another superb second shot over the water at the par-five 15th to set up a birdie from the back of the green. After a bogey on the first hole, she made birdies at Nos.

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

American Anna Redding, a University of Virginia senior, was the first competitor to tee off, but she was eight strokes adrift of United States leader Jennifer Kupcho.

Olarra, who works as an auditor in Madrid, grabbed the final spot on the second playoff hole - the par-3 17th - where she rolled in a birdie putt from 25 feet.

Kupcho, 21, fired a five-under-par 67 to finish at 10-under, with final group playing partner Maria Fassi signing for a 70 which the Mexico golfer runner-up at six under.

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

Kupcho has played before big crowds at the U.S. Women's Open.

But walking with their daughters in Friday's practice round is as close as some dad caddies will come to Augusta National with several deciding on a switch and handing their fathers pink slips.

Saturday figures to be a new experience, on the fairways and greens of Augusta National on the weekend before the Masters, with thousands of fans able to see the course for the first time all year through separate tickets they were able to buy through a lottery. The final three hours of play will air on NBC sports starting at noon.

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 going to be a lot of fun".

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