ANWA WINNERS JENNIFER KUPCHO AND ANNA DAVIS PAIRED TOGETHER DURING SHIRLEY SPORK CELEBRATION DAY AT THE COGNIZANT FOUNDERS CUP
Major champion Jennifer Kupcho shot a 4-under 68 on her birthday on Saturday to enter the final round of the Cognizant Founder Cup at 8-under par. Kupcho shares a birthday with LPGA Founder Shirley Spork who passed away on April 12 and who would have been 95 on Saturday.
At the same time, 16-year-old Anna Davis honored Spork by wearing a rubber duck-themed bucket hat as she finished at four under overall and is looking forward to her second LPGA championship Sunday. Yellow was Spork’s favorite color and looking at ducks on the course helped Spork relax.
Kupcho, however, didn’t need a distraction. "It's a tough golf course out here,” the reigning Chevron Championship winner said. “They definitely moved up a few tees; I think that helped. But I think it's honestly just getting more comfortable with this course every day. I haven't been hitting it very well recently. Today is my birthday. I play better on my birthday.”
Jennifer hit 16 out of 18 greens and made six birdies to keep her in contention heading into tomorrow.
Playing with Davis, Jennifer said the 16-year-old bombs it. "She's a really good player, and she plays quick, so that also helped a lot to keep it moving,” Kupcho said. “I'm used to quick play, so I think we both got in a rhythm.”
Anna also played in the Palos Verdes Championship presented by Bank of America in her home state of California and said she now feels more comfortable playing in her second LPGA event this year.
"It's a big difference from two weeks ago because the nerves are there, and you're trying to make the cut. Whereas here I'm trying to move up the leaderboard, so it's definitely different emotions going," Davis said.
To mark Spork's 95th birthday, Davis sported the yellow duck bucket hat, a fashion statement that the teen shares with the legend. Spork’s bucket hat was ubiquitous in the last decade of her life while Davis showed an independent streak by wearing a bucket hat during her Augusta National Women’s Amateur win.
"I think yesterday I wasn't that nervous. I felt like I was well inside the cut line so I wasn't that nervous going into it," Anna said.
Davis met Spork last year at the Solheim Cup. She was happy to represent her today.
"She shared her knowledge with us. She's obviously been around for a long time so it was good to hear from her," she said.
Watching Kupcho, the most recent major champion who won the inaugural ANWA three years ago, has inspired Davis as she’s teed it up with the world’s best players.
"I think it gives me a lot of confidence,” said Davis. “I know that she won that thing three years ago, and I don't know how long she's been on tour, but I think two years maybe. That definitely gives me hope for the future.”