Coloradan heads to next week’s major with major momentum
By Jon Rizzi
The 150th Open championship at St. Andrews lived up to the pageantry and hype. It gave us a thrilling finish and a champion, Cameron Smith, who needed every one of his major-record-tying 264 shots to hold off Cameron Young, who eagled the final hole to leapfrog Rory McIlroy and claim runner-up honors.
Amazingly, it marked the fourth time in Open Championship history that the top two finishers had the same first name—and the first time at St. Andrews since 1879, when Jamie Anderson beat Jamie Allan by three strokes.
The first two to accomplish this, you might guess, were Young Tom Morris and Old Tom Morris at Prestwick 1868. Until Sunday, the most recent to finish 1-2 were Alf Perry and Alf Padgham in the 1935 edition at Royal Liverpool—which will host the 151st edition next year.
The more you know…
Speaking of pairings, over the weekend Colorado’s own Jennifer Kupcho teamed up with her Solheim Cup partner, Lizette Salas, to capture the LPGA Tour’s Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational at Midland Country Club in Midland, Mich.
After two rounds of foursomes and four ball at Midland Country Club in Midland, Mich., on Saturday, Kupcho and Salas combined for a five-shot victory over 71 other teams, including the Korda sisters and past Colorado Women’s Open champions Lauren Coughlin (2016) and Savannah Vilaubi (2021).
The win marks Kupcho’s LPGA Tour-leading third victory this year. In April, she captured the first major of the year, the Chevron Championship. Then in June, she won the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give.
Adding the Dow event to that total gives her some momentum as the tour heads into a busy stretch that includes two majors in Europe— the Amundi Evian Championship and the AIG Women’s British Open at Muirfield. Kupcho was a member of the 2018 U.S. Palmer Cup team that defeated the Europeans on the Evian course, and the following year she finished T-2 at the Evian Championship in her rookie season on the LPGA Tour.
She is currently the frontrunner for LPGA Player of the Year.
The win was the second in Salas’s LPGA career, the first coming eight years ago. She turned 33 on Sunday.
She said she and Kupcho “got to spend the whole week together, and to continue the momentum that we had back in September (at the Solheim Cup, where they went 2-0-1). I don’t want to get emotional, but it’s just been a magical week. I couldn’t have done it without her. We just make a great team. From start the week when we got here, we had faith in each other that we could pull this off.”
For pulling it off in such grand fashion, in addition to the trophies and splitting $603,172, Kupcho and Salas each received a 18k white gold and diamond necklace with custom pendant.
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