NAPLES, Fla. (AP) — The LPGA arrived at Tiburon Golf Club with a lot of momentum. No, we’re not talking about Lamborghinis. We’re talking about Nelly Korda’s exciting finale, in which she birdied the final hole twice, the second to win a playoff against Lexi Thompson, Sei Young Kim, and Lydia Ko.
Jennifer Kupcho, on the other hand, was lost in the frenzy.
After making it into the final threesome on Sunday in Belleair, Florida, Kupcho, 24, finished in a tie for 22nd place and nine strokes out of the playoffs.
“I mean, that’s golf,” Kupcho remarked Thursday at the CME Group Tour Championship, the LPGA’s season finale. “You can put together three terrific rounds and watch it all go away, and that’s exactly what happened.” It’s exactly what it is. All of the awful shots that didn’t happen on the first three days all happened on the last day. “All I did was come out and try to figure it out.”
That’s exactly what she’s done. Kupcho posted 7-under 65 in her first round at Tiburon on Thursday, making seven birdies, including one on each of her final two holes. She’s only one shot behind Jeongeun Lee6 in the race for the $1.5 million first-place prize and her first career LPGA victory.
Kupcho hasn’t won since becoming pro in mid-2019, following a stellar amateur career that includes victories at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur and the NCAA Individual Championship only months after joining the LPGA. But she’s gotten close, finishing second three times and finishing in the top five twice more.
The distinction between near calls and prizes, on the other hand, may be found between the ears. Kupcho, who usually attempts to turn her frustrations into into energy, has been trying hard this year to stay positive on the course.
She claimed her Sunday performance taught her that shooting “a lot over par” can still be enjoyable.
“Normally, when I’m that far off the mark, as I’m sure you guys can see, I’m quite disappointed and angry,” Kupcho explained. “So, yeah, that round was probably the most fun I’ve ever had shooting over par, and it was a lot of joy playing with Lexi and Nelly.”
It wasn’t as if it didn’t hurt. After signing for her 77, Kupcho went directly to the range and worked on a chunky right miss. She was over it after smoothing things out – literally.
Kupcho says, “I was like, ‘Well, that was fun.'”
She’s hoping for another enjoyable Sunday, but this time she’d want to be the center of attention.
Leave a Reply