Jennifer Kupcho rides ace into contention, while other notables headed home early

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SAN FRANCISCO – Will Jennifer Kupcho’s ace-propelled closeout in her final nine holes at the U.S. Women’s Open turn into an extraordinary comeback for the weekend?

Kupcho’s round looked like it was trending towards a heart-breaking missed cut after shooting 6-over-par 41 on her front nine. But if anyone knows anything about Kupcho – who often goes by Kup around her friends – it’s that she’s a comeback star. In 2018, when Kup – who went to college at Wake Forest University – won the NCAA Individual title held at Stillwater Country Club, she was 3 over par after a nail-biting first nine holes. Then, like it was nothing, she stringed together five birdies on the back nine to win by two shots.

All it takes is one birdie to catch some momentum. This time at the U.S. Open at Olympic Club, that momentum shift for Kup was an ace on the 13th hole.

“Hit a good iron shot. Probably the best one in a while,” said Kupcho on Friday after her round, a 2-over-par 73 that put her at 1 over for the championship, tied for 16th and seven off the lead.

At one point, Kup looked like she was saying goodbye to San Francisco, and now, she’s ready to go rack up some more birdies on Moving Day. Following her hole-in-one, the 24-year-old birdied the 14th and 16th holes.

Unfortunately, not every player had the golf gods on their side. The biggest upset this week was Nelly Korda, who had rounds of 78-75. Additionally, the 2010, 2014 and 2020 U.S. Open champions all missed the cut. Paula Creamer shot 75-76 for a 9-over total; Michelle Wie West shot 74-80 (12 over); and A Lim Kim missed the 6-over-par cut by one shot, shooting 79-70.