ANWA stars Jennifer Kupcho, Maria Fassi qualify for U.S. Women's Open

ANWA stars Jennifer Kupcho, Maria Fassi qualify for U.S. Women's Open

USGA

ANWA stars Jennifer Kupcho, Maria Fassi qualify for U.S. Women's Open

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Jennifer Kupcho and Maria Fassi will make their professional debuts at the U.S. Women’s Open.

The two Augusta National Women’s Amateur stars medaled at their respective qualifying sites on Monday afternoon.

Fassi came out hot at the Country Club of Ocala with an opening 7-under 65. She followed it up with a 74 in the second round to finish the day at 5-under 139, five shots clear of the field. Florida’s Sierra Brooks claimed the second spot in a playoff.

Kupcho, the reigning NCAA and ANWA champ, vaulted to the top of the board with a second-round 69 at Starmount Forest Country Club in Greensboro, N.C., to finish at 3-under 141. Duke’s Gina Kim took the second spot, winning a playoff over former LPGA player and current Clemson assistant coach Heather Young.

QUALIFYING: USGA’s list of qualifiers

The 74thU.S. Women’s Open takes place May 30-June 2 at the Country Club of Charleston, South Carolina.

Kupcho relinquished her exemptions into the U.S. Women’s Open prior to teeing it up. She had qualified for the championship in two ways – as the Mark H. McCormack Medal winner for being the top-ranked amateur and as the ANWA champion. Kupcho had to remain an amateur, however, to use both exemptions.

Because the Wake Forest senior chose to defer her LPGA rookie status until after next month’s NCAA Championship, she has only half the season to earn enough money to keep her card. Considering the size of the U.S. Women’s Open purse, Kupcho couldn’t afford to play as an amateur.

Fassi, who won the SEC Championship not long after finishing runner-up at Augusta, also deferred her LPGA status until after NCAAs. She hopes to end her college career on the highest of notes as Arkansas hosts this year’s championship at Blessings Golf Course May 17-22.

Teams must first advance through NCAA Regionals, which take place May 6-8.

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