There is rarely any sort of consistency in the game of golf, and those who have been able to find it have achieved great things.
Such is the case for former Jefferson Academy two-time state champion and current Wake Forest University phenom Jennifer Kupcho, whose sophomore season with the Demon Deacons can only be described as bizarre.
It was a spring season that got off to a scary start in California. She suffered a freak accident at the Palos Verdes Golf Club, where she was pulled off the back of a cart by a wayward spectator and ended up hitting her head on the path that resulted in a concussion and more than a month away from competitive play.
But upon her return, Kupcho finished out of the top 10 at the Darius Rucker Invitational but after that had five straight top five finishes — including her third victory of the season at the NCAA Regional tournament in Athens, Georgia.
Riding a wave of momentum, Kupcho was in the drivers seat of the NCAA Championships at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Illinois for 52 of the 54-hole tournament.
Then disaster struck.
A two-shot lead turned into a one shot deficit after a triple-bogey and ultimately a second place finish behind Arizona State's Monica Vaughn.
"I think it is more a lesson of that is how golf is and sometimes that is going to happen and you have to accept it an move forward," Kupcho said. "There is nothing or no one I can blame for it, I thought I hit the right club and played it perfectly."
And just as quickly as it happened, she has been able to put it behind her and move forward.
"I was exciting to bounce back that quickly after the loss, and to be able to qualify for the U.S. Open was really awesome," said Kupcho, who will head to New Jersey in two weeks for her second consecutive U.S. Open at Trump National after qualifying in Aurora. "I'm real excited. It'll be fun to go back and I think this time I will be more prepared for what the U.S. Open is going to bring."
And her goals are simple.
"I am focusing on making the cut and then being the low am(ateur) hopefully," she said.
In addition to qualifying for the Open, last week Kupcho won her third consecutive CWGA Stroke Play Championship at Lone Tree Golf Club.
It is all been part of the plan for Kupcho, who even by her own standards is ahead of where she originally pictured herself when she left JA.
"I think coming out, I thought I was going to go to Wake and be 3, 4 or 5 and just sort of playing with everyone. But I kind of jumped on top and continued to grow and play well, better my game and get it to the level it is at. It's something, coming out of high school, I didn't figure was going to happen that quickly," she said. "Now going to my second U.S. Open, it's right there, ready to be taken. I just have to keep working, I know I have to keep working on my short game, and knowing what I need to do to get up there with the professionals."