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Olivia Mehaffey prepares to make history after qualifying to play at Augusta

Olivia Mehaffey prepares to make history after qualifying to play at Augusta

Striking blows for gender equality with every swing at former men-only enclave Augusta National Golf Club, women golfers competed for a trophy for the first time on Saturday at the home of the Masters.

The Masters is often decided on the back nine on Sunday and that was the case for the women who played their final round on Saturday, as Kupcho showed why she is the world's top-ranked amateur by playing the final six holes in five under par.

Maria Fassi fired another 70 Thursday in the second round of the inaugural Augusta National Women's Amateur.

Only six women finished under par, and no one challenged Kupcho or Fassi, a senior at Arkansas from Mexico.

Businesswoman Darla Moore and former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice were named the club's first women members in August 2012.

Kupcho is from Westminster, Colorado. The crowd was larger than any of the 30 players who made the cut had ever experienced. "I knew I was going to be able to do it".

"I think both of us just wanted to send the message that golf is about having friends, and to be out there with her, we were cheering each other on, and that's kind of how golf is supposed to be", Kupcho said.

"This has huge potential to not just inspire young girls but golfers".

Girls have always been able to take part in the Masters' traditional Drive, Chip and Putt contest held on the Sunday before the Major, but this will be the first time a women's tournament will be held on the course itself. She narrowly cleared the rock-framed creek on the par-3 eighth and chipped poorly for another bogey, and she had to make a 4-footer on the par-4 ninth to avoid another dropped shot.

Kupcho's bogey-free run finally came to an end, but the American hung on for a one-stroke lead after the second round.

Kupcho, who started on No. 10, was 3 under for the round through 10 holes and poised to stretch it even more when she missed a short birdie putt on the next hole.

At 21, she has the game at her feet.

No matter. She was at 5-under 139 and plays in the final group with Fassi, one of the longer hitters in the field.

"I started out strong and was hitting the ball really well ... It's going to be a lot of fun".

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