Razorback senior Maria Fassi in contention at Augusta National Women's Amateur

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07 April, 2019

After bogeying the first hole, Fassi had four birdies on the front nine.

But walking with their daughters in Friday's practice round is as close as some dad caddies will come to Augusta National with several deciding on a switch and handing their fathers pink slips.

Annika Sorenstam takes part in the First Tee ceremony prior to the final round of the Augusta National Women's Amateur on Saturday.

Fassi finished the 54-hole tournament at 6-under par, four shots behind defending NCAA champion Jennifer Kupcho of Wake Forest.

Sorenstam and Lopez say they had to fight tears when they walked to the first tee and soaked up the reality of a tournament for women at Augusta National.

Fassi, Kupcho's good friend and the 2018 ANNIKA Award victor as the top female collegiate golfer, birdied two of her final three holes to record a second consecutive round of two-under 70 for a four-under-par 140 total through two rounds.

"I started out strong and was hitting the ball really well", Kupcho said.

Now on a sports scholarship at Arizona State University, on a golf programme that has produced the likes of Paul Casey and Phil Mickelson in the past, Royal County Down member Mehaffey will tee off at 2 o'clock trailing leader and World No. 1 amateur Jennifer Kupcho by six shots.

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But Kupcho, who made bogey at No. 10, drew even at the par-5 13th.

Both parred 17 and Fassi made bogey at 18 before Kupcho concluded with a roar-raising 20-foot birdie putt.

"Probably one of the best shots I've ever hit", she said.

"For them to kind of make us like Arnold, Jack and Gary, it's a real big honor to be here and hit that first shot", Lopez said. "I know we're going to be battling in the future".

Tied again, she delivered the victor with a 7-iron on the par-3 16th that caught the ridge and fed down to the hole.

Fassi retook the lead with a birdie at the 14th, but Kupcho countered with birdie at the 15th and 16th to regain the lead.

The crowd more resembled one you might find at a USA women's soccer game with plenty of teenage girls and mothers and fathers with children in tow. "It's going to be a lot of fun".


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