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Three of a Kind

Third straight honor lands Kupcho in Sportswomen of Colorado Hall of Fame; Weinstein also earns award

by Gary Baines - 3/9/2017

Jennifer Kupcho is not yet 20 years old, but already she's going to be inducted into a hall of fame.

When the Sportswomen of Colorado holds its 43rd Annual Awards Celebration on Sunday at the Infinity Park Events Center in Glendale, the Westminter resident will receive a golf honor for the third consecutive year -- in this case, 2016. When a given athlete completes that trifecta -- winning an award three times in the same sport over the years -- they automatically go into the Sportswomen of Colorado Hall of Fame.

Kupcho, a sophomore at Wake Forest, will be one of six Hall of Fame inductees this year, joining Olympian Mallory Pugh and Janine Beckie (soccer), Kendall Chase (rowing), Danielle Mack (triathlon) and Katie Rainsberger (cross country).

Kupcho (pictured) has been dominant -- and beyond -- in recent seasons, which is why she's the first person to be named the CWGA's Player of the Year for three consecutive years. She was also named the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame's Golf Person of the Year for 2016. 

At the end last year, she was the No. 1 women's college golfer in the country -- according to at least one ranking system -- though she's dropped lower in the top 10 since then after having to withdraw from her spring season opener with a consussion suffered in an unusual accident (READ MORE). Kupcho currently sits No. 17 in the women's World Amateur Golf Rankings.

In 2016, Kupcho ran away with the titles in both of the CWGA's top two championships, winning 12 and 10 in the scheduled 36-hole final of the CWGA Match Play, and by 19 shots in the CWGA Stroke Play. Last summer marked the first time since 2004 that one person swept both of those titles in the same year. Overall, Kupcho has now won the last three CWGA majors, dating back to the 2015 CWGA Stroke Play, making her the first to win three straight since Wendy Werley claimed four in a row in 1988 and '89.

During her Stroke Play victory last year, Kupcho set the women's course record at historic Denver Country Club with a second-round 65, bettering the old mark of 68, established by world-renowned athlete Babe Zaharias on July 3, 1946.

At the end of her freshman season at Wake Forest, the two-time Colorado 4A state high school champion finished second individually at the women's ACC Championship and sixth at the NCAA Division I Championship.

She also qualified for the U.S. Women's Open for the first time, though she missed the cut there. And once she returned to Wake Forest for her sophomore season, Kupcho won individual titles in each of her last two college starts of the fall.

With Kupcho in Hawaii on Sunday preparing for a college tournament, her parents Mike and Janet will accept the Sportswomen honor on her behalf.

Kupcho won't be the only Coloradan to receive a golf award from the Sportswomen of Colorado on Sunday. Also honored will be Mary Weinstein of Highlands Ranch, now a freshman at Regis University.

Weinstein, like Kupcho a former member of the Hale Irwin Elite Player Program, was named the inaugural Junior Golf Alliance of Colorado Girls Player of the Year in 2016.

Weinstein won the first two JGAC major championships ever held -- and the only two she competed in last year. That's after she claimed another big-time junior title, the 5A girls state high school championship.

Nationally/internationally, Weinstein finished fifth in the Optimist International Junior and 15th in the Junior PGA Championship. At Regis University, Weinstein posted top-five individual finishes in each of her first four college events in 2016, including a win at the Western New Mexico Fall Intercollegiate. Weinstein essentially won the girls POY award for the second straight season as she was the CWGA Junior Player of the Year in 2015 before the Junior Golf Alliance made its debut.

Five-time Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer Missy Franklin of Centennial is among those expected to attend Sunday's Sportswomen's Awards Celebration.

In all, 55 awards will be handed out, including the Sportswoman of the Year honor.

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