While the Colorado Women’s Golf Association’s March 4 meeting won’t have the same fanfare as last year’s 100th anniversary celebration, the awards portion of the annual program at The Inverness Hotel and Conference Center will remain identical.
For the third consecutive year, Jennifer Kupcho (above right) will receive the 2016 CWGA Player of the Year Award, and, as she did last year, Kim Eaton will take home the CWGA Senior Player of the Year trophy—her seventh since turning 50 eight years ago.
Kupcho’s honor means the 19-year-old becomes the first person ever to win that award three consecutive times. Currently a sophomore at Wake Forest University, the Westminster native crushed her competition 12 and 10 in the 36-hole final of the CWGA Match Play and lapped the field by 19 shots in the CWGA Stroke Play. Her second-round 65 at Denver Country Club eclipsed the great Babe Zaharias’s 70-year-old women’s course record of 68.
Outside of Colorado, Kupcho excelled as well, finishing runner up in the Women’s ACC Championship and sixth at the NCAA Division I Championship. She won the sectional qualifier to compete in the U.S. Women’s Open and earned medalist honors in her last two full-field college starts of 2016.
As of January 18, she placed 15th in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Rankings. She also started the year as Golfstat’s top-ranked Division I woman player and was first on the Watch List for the 2016-2017 ANNIKA Award, which honors the player of the year in women’s golf, as selected by a group of college golfers, coaches and members of the golf media.
The Colorado Golf Hall of Fame will celebrate Kupcho as its Golf Person of the Year during its annual banquet May 21.
A Colorado Golf Hall of Fame inductee herself, Eaton won the CWGA Senior Match Play for the third time with a 6 and 4 victory over Christie Austin, who entered the Hall in 2015. The victory marked Eaton’s 22nd overall CWGA title.
Eaton, who partnered with Austin to win the 2010 Women’s Trans National Golf Association Senior Four-Ball, repeated the feat in 2016 with teammate Leigh Klasse. A Greeley native now living in Arizona, Eaton earned AWGA Player of the Year and Senior Player of the Year honors by virtue of winning both the AWGA State Amateur Seniors Championship and the open-age-division title in the AWGA State Amateur Stroke Play.
And if that wasn’t enough, for the fourth time in eight years, she advanced to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur, and scored her second career victory in the senior division of the Ione D. Jones/Doherty Women’s Amateur Championship in Fort Lauderdale. coloradowomensgolf.org
This article appears in the Spring 2017 issue of Colorado AvidGolfer. Subscribe today!
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