Emilia Migliaccio and Jennifer Kupcho (Photo submitted)
To practice with the World No. 1 is to know competition at the highest level. That’s the story inside the Wake Forest camp these days, as senior Jennifer Kupcho pushes her teammates to new heights with each passing week.
Wake Forest won its second consecutive tournament on Sunday, its own Bryan National Collegiate. The Demon Deacons went big. Their 34-under total at Bryan Park Champions Course in Browns Summit, N.C., set a new ACC 54-hole scoring record, breaking the previous Duke-held record by a shot. It’s also the seventh-lowest 54-hole scoring record in NCAA women’s golf history.
Wake Forest went 14 under during the final round to tie the school 18-hole scoring record, set during the final round of the Tar Heel Classic earlier in the month and matched Friday in the first round of the Bryan National Collegiate. Wake Forest players swept the top four spots on the leaderboard. Every one was under par on Sunday.
“Everybody in the top 10, having to drop a score of minus 2 today? That doesn’t happen that often,” head coach Kim Lewellen said after the event.
Wake Forest finished 32 shots ahead of North Carolina in second and 36 ahead of N.C. State in third.
Kupcho topped the individual leaderboard alongside sophomore teammate Emilia Migliaccio. Both women capped the tournament with rounds of 4-under 68 to get to 12 under, good enough to share the title by a seven-shot margin over teammate Letizia Bagnoli. Siyun Liu tied for fourth another shot back.
Scoring signals growth for Wake Forest, the No. 8 team in the Golfweek
/Sagarin College Rankings. First-year head coach Lewellen is watching her women grow up. The team’s two freshmen, Bagnoli and Vanessa Knecht, were in the lineup this week at home.
“They no longer seem to be freshmen anymore,” Lewellen said.
Next week, Kupcho and Migliaccio tee it up with the world’s best female amateurs at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur. Wake Forest has had plenty of male golfers go on to make history at Augusta National during the Masters – none more prominent than Arnold Palmer – but this starts a new kind of history for the Demon Deacons.
“They’re going down there and obviously with it being an inaugural event with women, what makes it extra special is they play at Wake,” Lewellen said. “…I think they can continue on as women, continue the history of Wake Forest and I think that’s what is so exciting for them.”
Wake Forest doesn’t compete again as a team until April 18, at the ACC Championship. Few conferences in college athletics are known as hot-beds for golf, but the ACC is one of them. As the league championship creeps closer, more and more teams enter the mix. Both Wake Forest and Florida State have won in their past two starts. Duke is the No. 1-ranked team in the country.
“We’re obviously trending in a very good way and we’ve seen a lot of promise and good things as the spring has been going on,” Lewellen said.
The momentum keeps building.
ABOUT THE Bryan National Collegiate
54-hole collegiate stroke play event hosted by
the UNCG and Wake Forest women's golf teams.
scores out of five players each round) and individual
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