The 2019 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship field is now down to just 132 golfers as we head into the finals at Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
There are a lot of really, really good golfers in that group of 132, but we’ve singled out three of the most intriguing to watch at the 2019 championship:
Jennifer Kupcho, Wake Forest
There may be no bigger name in amateur women’s golf right now than Jennifer Kupcho.
Last year, Kupcho capped of her junior year at Wake Forest by winning the NCAA individual championship, a year after finishing as the runner-up.
This year, in April — days before the 2019 Masters — Kupcho won the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur by shooting 10-under in the 54-hole tournament and winning by four strokes. The victory came after Kupcho made an amazing charge on the back nine, going 5-under through the final six holes.
Kupcho is currently No. 1 in the women’s world amateur golf ranking and has Wake Forest back in the NCAA championship after a second-place finish at the Norman Regional.
Maria Fassi, Arkansas
If playing the NCAA championship on her home course wasn’t enough, Maria Fassi is coming into the tournament as hot as can be.
The senior earned her second consecutive SEC Player of the Year honor after winning the conference’s individual title, then led the Razorbacks with a T5 finish in the Washington Regional at 6-under.
Fassi had a slightly disappointing showing at the 2018 championship, finishing 19-over for 66th place, as Arkansas earned a 10th-place finish.
With five seniors and only one true freshman on the team this year, expect that type of experience — led by Fassi — to help propel Arkansas to a much better showing at home.
Patty Tavatanakit, UCLA
Tavatanakit sits right behind Kupcho as No. 2 in the women’s world amateur golf ranking. What more motivation could you need at an NCAA championship than getting to play against the one player in the world ranked higher than you?
Tavatanakit — one of 10 finalists for the ANNIKA Award for the top player in women’s college golf — had a strong showing in the East Lansing Regional earlier this month, finishing 8-under 208 (4 strokes ahead of the field) to take the individual crown.
The win was her seventh career victory and third of the season — an extremely impressive resume for a sophomore.
In last year’s NCAA championship, Tavatanakit tied for 19th place with a 3-over performance — 11 strokes behind Kupcho’s winning mark.