Colorado LPGA star begins season this week in Florida event.
By Jon Rizzi
After a whirlwind 2019—in which she exploded onto the national scene by winning the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, led her team to the finals of the NCAA Championships and earned enough money in only 19 LPGA Tour events to retain fully exempt status—Jennifer Kupcho is excited for the 2020 season to begin this week.
She’ll make her 2020 debut Thursday 23 in the inaugural Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio in Boca Raton, Fla.
Moving to the year-round golf mecca of Scottsdale has allowed the Westminster native to play and practice through the winter, as well as be close to the headquarters of Ping, her equipment sponsor, and older brother Steven, who won his first professional event last year.
Last year, Kupcho finished in the top five in three events, including one major—the Evian Championship—which took place on the same course she played in the 2018 Palmer Cup. Kupcho’s final-round 66 shot her up the leaderboard, tying her for second place, two shots behind winner Ko Jin-young.
Kupcho’s $525,432 in winnings placed her 39th on last season’s final money list. She currently stands at 52 on the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings.
Retaining and improving her ranking is important to ensure participation in the majors, but winning an event will go even further. And, by her own admission, Kupcho loves to win. She did it nine times individually at Wake Forest, as a U.S. representative in three international competitions and, unforgettably, at Augusta National.
And now that she knows the grind of a full season on the tour, she can schedule herself appropriately and find time to work virtually with Ed Oldham, her longtime swing coach based at The Ranch Country Club. The two worked over the phone during Kupcho’s four years at Wake Forest and continue to talk regularly.
What’s next for the woman who’s accomplished more in her first 22 years than any other female Colorado golfer? We’re all as excited as she is to find out.
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