Ernst wins Drive On Championship for 3rd LPGA Tour title
Albane Valenzuela misses a putt during the final round of the LPGA Drive On Championship at Golden Ocala in Ocala, Florida on Sunday, March 7, 2020. [Alan Youngblood/Special to the Ocala Star-Banner]OCALA, Fla. – Austin Ernst won the Drive On Championship on Sunday for her third LPGA Tour title, pulling away to beat fellow former NCAA champion Jennifer Kupcho by five strokes at Golden Ocala. She won the NCAA title in 2011. It’s just unfortunate that’s when mine came for the week.”Winless on the tour, the former 23-year-old former Wake Forest star from Colorado won the NCAA title in 2018 and the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur in 2019. Nelly Korda, tied with Ernst and Kupcho for the first-round lead, had weekend rounds of 76 and 75 to tie for 28th at even par.
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She tied Karrie Webb (2001) and Sarah Kemp (2011) for the lowest nine-hole score in the Women’s PGA Championship. She was runner-up at the 2015 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and tied for second at the Evian Championship in 2018. Kupcho was second last weekend in the ShopRite LPGA Classic and said a run at the championship left her exhausted. Kupcho -- winner of the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur -- has yet to transfer the success of her celebrated collegiate career over to the LPGA Tour. At Aronimink, Kupcho went back to what worked for her in college.