Jennifer Kupcho, a sophomore from Littleton, Colo., fired a sparkling 6-under 66 at the Country Club of Landfall’s Pete Dye Course Saturday to vault her to the top of the individual leaderboard and send Wake Forest to the top of the team standings after Day 2 of The Landfall Tradition in Wilmington, N.C.
Kupcho was one of the freshmen in the country a year ago and it appears she’s playing even better early in her sophomore season for the Demon Deacons, No. 13 in the latest Golfstat rankings. Combined with an opening-round 73 over the 6,166-yard, par-72 Pete Dye Course layout, Kupcho’s 66 left her at 5-under 139, one shot in front of a very talented field at the Windfall.
Junior Erica Herr, a two-time PIAA Class AAA champion at Council Rock North, and Sierra Sims, a senior from Austin, Texas, continued their solid play for Wake Forest. Both players recorded a second straight 1-under 71 and are in a three-way tie for sixth, at 2-under 142, three shots back of their teammate Kupcho.
The trio of Kupcho, Sims and Herr enabled Wake Forest to post a 4-under 284, which, combined with an opening-round 288, left them at 4-under 572, seven shots clear of the field. No. 19 South Carolina had the day’s best round, a 6-under 282, to move into a tie for second at 3-over 579. No. 24 Oklahoma, which owned the lead after an opening-round 284, fell back with a 295, but is tied for second with South Carolina at 579.
No. 2 Furman, which matched Wake Forest’s 4-under 284, is tied for fourth with No. 12 Purdue, which carded a 289. Furman and Purdue are at 4-over 580. Notre Dame carded a 293 and is alone in 11th place at 596, No. 16 North Carolina posted a 297 and is tied for 12th at 597 and Penn State carded a second straight 309 and is 16th in the strong 18-team field at 618.
Also for Wake Forest, freshman Sierra Brooks, a member of the 2016 U.S. Curtis Cup team from Sorrento, Fla., is tied for 38th at 150 after a 76 and Antonia Eberhard, a sophomore from Germany, is tied for 46th at 151 after a 78. Competing as an individual, freshman Mathilda Cappeliez, a semifinalist at the U.S. Women’s Amateur at Rolling Green Golf Club, joined Brooks in the tie for 38th after posting a 78.
Purdue was led by reigning Big Ten champion August Kim, a senior from St. Augustine, Fla. Kim carded a 4-under 68 and is a shot behind Kupcho at 4-under 140. Alabama’s Cheyenne Knight, a sophomore from Aledo, Texas, posted a second straight 70 to join Kim at 140.
Furman was led by Taylor Totland, a senior from Tinton Falls, N.J. who fired a 4-under 68 to move into a tie for fourth at 3-under 141. Virginia’s Julia Ford, a freshman from Shrewsbury, Mass., added a 70 to her opening-round 71 to share fourth with Totland at 141.
Joining Wake Forest’s Erica Herr and Sims in the tie for sixth at 2-under 142 is Oklahoma’s Hannah Wood, a junior from Centennial, Colo. Wood had the opening-round lead with a 3-under 69, but fell back with a 1-over 73.
Five players are tied for ninth at 1-under 143. That group includes South Carolina’s Ainhoe Olarra, a junior from Spain who had a 70, Purdue’s Ida Ayu Indira Melati Putri, a sophomore from Bali who had a 72, North Carolina’s Leslie Coots, a senior from Belgium who had a 70, Central Florida’s Ashley Holder, a senior from Orlando, Fla. who had a 72, and North Carolina State’s India Clyburn, a sophomore from England who had a 71.
Notre Dame got a solid even-par 72 from sophomore Isabella DiLisio, the 2013 PIAA Class AAA champion as a junior at Mount St. Joseph. That left DiLisio tied for 28th at 4-over 148.
Also for the Fighting Irish, Maddie Rose Hamilton, a sophomore from Louisville, Ky., is tied for 38th at 150 after a 73, Jordan Ferreira, a senior from University Place, Wash., is tied for 46th at 151 after a 76, Mia Ayer, a freshman from Waco, Texas, is tied for 46th at 151 after a 72, and Emma Albrecht, a sophomore from Ormond Beach, Fla. is also tied for 46th after a 76. Junior Allison Snakard, like DiLisio a product of the Mount St. Joseph program, is competing as an individual and is tied for 75th at 157 after an 82.
Behind Cloots for North Carolina, Lexi Harkins, a junior from Crystal Lake, Ill., is tied for 33rd at 149 after an even-par 72, Bryana Nguyen, a junior from Columbia, Md., is tied for 38th at 150 after a 78, freshman Brynn Walker, a two-time PIAA Class AAA champion at Radnor, is tied for 72nd after a 77 and Kelly Whaley, a sophomore from Farmington, Conn., is tied for 89th after an 82.
North Carolina’s Mariana Ocano, a freshman from St. Petersburg, Fla., is competing as an individual and is in 92nd place after posting an 84.
Penn State was led by sophomore Lauren Waller, who lost in a playoff to Walker at the 2014 PIAA Tournament as a senior at Canon McMillan, and freshman Madelein Herr, younger sister of Erica and the 2015 District One champion as a senior at Council Rock North. Waller, who carded a 75, and Herr, who had a 77, are in a group tied for 53rd at 152.
Sophomore Cara Basso, the 2012 PIAA Class AA champion as a sophomore at Villa Maria Academy, is tied for 68th at 154 after a 75, Kate Granahan, a graduate student who starred scholastically at Parkland, is tied for 84th at 150 after an 82 and sophomore Jackie Rogowicz, a two-time District One champion at Pennsbury, is tied for 86th at 161 after carding an 82.