Wake Forest wins Tar Heel Invite, Jennifer Kupcho Medals
Wake Forest after Tar Heel Invite win
(Wake Forest Athletics Photo)
CHAPEL HILL, NC (October 16, 2016) -- Medalist winner Jennifer Kupcho paced Wake Forest all weekend long and on Sunday afternoon the Demon Deacons completed a wire-to-wire run at the Tar Heel Invite for the first win in two seasons. Wake Forest ended up finishing play at UNC's Finley Golf Course 10-under and five-strokes in front of runner-up and second round co-leader Alabama.
“It was an unbelievable performance by the team and Jennifer this weekend,” head coach Dianne Dailey told Wake Forest athletics. “Jennifer and Sierra Sims were terrific today and the whole team played well. All of this practice we have been doing really paid off. This will give our team a lot of confidence. The students came into the tournament thinking they could win, and that is the first time in a while I can remember the team talking about winning as they we went into an event. This will show them that they can do it, especially when we have a true team effort.”
Kupcho, a wire-to-wire winner, began the final day with a three-stroke lead in the individual race but with a strong final round she was able to pull away early and never look back. Following rounds of 67-68 the Honorable Mention All-American from a year ago stormed to the finish with a 6-under 66 to post 15-under and win by six shots.
The 15-under tally also set a new program and course record.
Following a par on No. 1, Kupcho got the flat stick rolling as she birdied Nos. 2-5 and the 7th. With a comfortable lead Kupcho just had to avoid the big mistakes and she did just that playing 2-under golf on the back nine to pick up her first career individual collegiate title.
“It feels great to get that first collegiate win,” said Kupcho. “I have been working really hard and it is great to see that pay off. I was hitting the ball really well. Coming into the tournament, I wasn’t too confident in my putting, but I came out and started making putts on Friday and my confidence grew from there. I felt like I was making everything.”
Sierra Sims also performed well for Wake Forest, recording a top-10. The freshmen completed the weekend in a tie for sixth at 3-under.
Second place Alabama (-5) was paced by sophomore Lauren Stephenson. The transfer from Clemson carded rounds of 68-70-69 to finish 9-under. Last year while with Clemson, Stephenson became the first player in program history to reach the NCAA Women's Tournament.
Arkansas' Alana Uriell (-6) was third in the individual standings, in fourth it was Micheala Williams (-5) while South Carolina's Katelyn Dambaugh (-4) was fifth.
Behind Wake Forest and Alabama in the team standings it was Arkansas (-4) in third, North Carolina State (+2) in fourth and South Carolina (+9); Tennessee (+9) were tied for fifth.
-Wake Forest Athletics contributed to this story