NCAA standouts Jennifer Kupcho and Maria Fassi awarded sponsor exemptions for the inaugural event
MIDLAND, Mich. (June 7, 2019) – Jennifer Kupcho and Maria Fassi, newly minted LPGA Tour professionals and the stars of the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur, have been awarded sponsor exemptions to tee it up at the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational this summer. Kupcho and Fassi, who finished first and second, respectively, at Augusta National, made their professional debuts at the U.S. Women’s Open and will team up at the first-of-its-kind LPGA Tour event, taking place July 15-20 at Midland Country Club.
Kupcho, a graduate of Wake Forest University, made history this spring as the first female player to win at Augusta. She joined Ben Crenshaw, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Jack Nicklaus as the only players to win both the NCAA individual championship and a tournament at Augusta National. During the inaugural event, she also came in 5 under on the final six holes, matching the efforts of Nicklaus in 1986.
“I am honored to receive this opportunity from Dow to be a part of the 2019 Dow GLBI in the Great Lakes Bay region,” said Kupcho. “I’m really looking forward to playing with Maria. We’ve competed against each other a lot over the years and it will be a fun challenge to see how we play as a team.”
Fassi, a graduate of the University of Arkansas, became the first player to win the ANNIKA Award, given to the season’s top female collegiate golfer, in consecutive years. She won the 2019 SEC and NCAA individual titles in route to earning Women’s Golf Coaches Association Player of the Year honors.
Kupcho and Fassi wrapped up their collegiate seasons before turning professional and joining the LPGA Tour, where they both made the cut at the U.S. Women’s Open. The golfers, who are friends off the course, have commented that they both want to make a positive impact and inspire women to play golf at all levels.
“I am thankful for the opportunity to team up with Jennifer for this exciting event,” said Fassi. “Jennifer and I are friends first and competitors second. The LPGA is made up of many diverse, empowered players and I am excited to be on the same course with all of them and inspire more women to get involved in the sport.”
“With their performance at Augusta, Jennifer and Maria set the tone for a new wave in women’s golf. Their energy on the course is contagious and we are thrilled to be able to showcase that camaraderie with our innovative team format,” said Chris Chandler, executive director of the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational. “Both of these ladies have had an incredible year and we are looking forward to witnessing them in action at Midland Country Club this July.”
Kupcho and Fassi are one of 72 teams who will compete for the $2 million purse at the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational. Over four days, players will compete in alternating rounds of foursomes (alternate shot) and four-ball (best ball) competition. After 36 holes, the field will be a cut to the low 35 teams and any ties for 35th. In the event of a tie after 72 holes, the champions will be determined by a hole-by-hole playoff using the foursomes’ format.
Other top teams committed to heading to Michigan’s Great Lakes Bay region this summer include Lexi Thompson and Cristie Kerr, Minjee Lee and Jin Young Ko, Brooke Henderson and Alena Sharp, as well as Lydia Ko and In Gee Chun. Additional committed players include Ariya Jutanugarn, Moriya Jutanugarn, Danielle Kang, Lizette Salas, Angel Yin and Michelle Wie. Over the next two months, the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational and SCG will continue to team up to announce player pairings.
LPGA players are also encouraged to personally announce their teammates for the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational via their preferred social media platforms. Stay tuned by following @DowGLBI on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Ticket for the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational start at $10 and kids 17 and under are free. To purchase tickets, visit www.DowGLBI.com. To stay up-to-date on all team announcements and event information, join the social conversation at www.facebook.com/DowGLBI, www.twitter.com/DowGLBI, and www.instagram.com/dowglbi (@DowGLBI).