Jennifer Kupcho and Maria Fassi, stars of the Augusta National Women's Amateur, both qualified for the U.S. Women's Open
Jennifer Kupcho and Maria Fassi, whose duel at Augusta National notched the highest television ratings for a women's golf event since 2016, have both qualified for the 2019 U.S. Women's Open, which will be held at the Country Club of Charleston in June. Kupcho qualified at Forest Country Club in Greensboro, N.C.. She shot 72-69 to finish as the medalist at that qualifying location. Fassi played her qualifier at Country Club of Ocala in Ocala, Fla. She finished the two rounds at five under, shooting 65-74.
Kupcho technically had already qualified for the U.S. Women's Open. She received an exemption by winning the Augusta National Women's Amateur. But, if she were to play the U.S. Women's Open in Charleston under that exemption, she'd have to play as an amateur. By making it through qualifying, she leaves herself the opportunity to compete in the U.S. Women's Open as a professional.
Both Kupcho and Fassi took advantage of the LPGA's new deferral policy, which allows collegiate players who make it through Q Series the opportunity to finish their collegiate season before turning professional and joining the tour. Kupcho and Fassi were the only two collegiate players to take advantage of the deferral and continue the season with their collegiate programs, Kupcho at Wake Forest and Fassi at the University of Arkansas.
With the NCAA championship—where Kupcho is defending—finishing on May 22, one week before the first round of the U.S. Women's Open, it'd make a lot of sense for Charleston to be both players' professional debut.