Kupcho Crushes It at Palmer Cup

Winning 2018 Palmer Cup team
Jennifer Kupcho (bottom row, 2nd from left) went 3-1 in the Palmer Cup.

First co-ed Arnold Palmer Cup turns into a memorable one for Coloradan.

By Jon Rizzi

Could Westminster’s Jennifer Kupcho have a more eventful seven weeks?

On May 21, the Wake Forest University senior-to-be won the NCAA Women’s Division I championship, shooting an 8-under-par 280 at Oklahoma State’s Karsten Creek Golf Course.

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On June 10, she won her singles match—as did every other player on the United States team—en route to the most lopsided victory Curtis Cup history, as Team USA defeated the squad from Great Britain & Ireland, 17-3, at Quaker Ridge Golf Club in Scarsdale, NY. Kupcho went 3-1-1 in her five matches.

Then, on July 8, the three-time Colorado Women’s Golf Association Player of the Year capped off a 3-1 performance in the Arnold Palmer Cup at Evian-les-Bains, France, when her opponent in the Sunday singles, Dewi Weber of the Netherlands, forfeited due to illness. In the first edition of the three-day Ryder Cup-style competition that also included women and golfers from all countries, the U.S. defeated the International team, 38½ to 21½, to retain the cup.

Having men and women on each roster allowed the squads to play mixed team four-ball and foursomes competitions over the first two days.

Kupcho found herself in the very first match of the tournament. She and her partner, Oklahoma State’s Matthew Wolff, set the tone for the tournament, defeating Wolff’s OSU teammate Viktor Hovland of Norway and Olivia Mehaffey of Arizona State University and Northern Ireland, 4&2. The U.S. pair didn’t trail during the match.

The same pairing fell in the following morning’s mixed foursomes, 4 & 2, to South Africa’s Jovan Rebula and Switzerland’s Albane Valenzuela.

But, with the International team gathering momentum, Jennifer Kupcho and Lilia Vu of UCLA turned the tide by defeating Korea’s Jiwon Jeon and Ireland’s Chloe Ryan, 2&1.

As in the Curtis Cup, the U.S. team owned the Sunday singles, winning 18 of 24 points in the final-round matches.

The win marked Kupcho’s second victory on foreign soil. Last July she won the Canadian Women’s Amateur, a title she will attempt to defend July 24-27 at Vancouver’s Marine Drive Golf Club.

Before then, the 21-year-old will head to Highland Meadows Golf Club outside Toledo, Ohio, to compete this weekend in the LPGA Tour’s Marathon Classic, a spot secured by her NCAA victory.

She’ll be playing as an amateur, but that may not be the case at this time next year.