Prior to Sunday, Jennifer Kupcho's most notable win was when she won the inaugural Augusta National Women's Amateur in 2019 as an amateur. At the time she admitted on a Golf Channel broadcast that she had doubts whether her professional breakthrough would come.
"Yeah, for sure," Kupcho said. "I've been so close a couple of times, so it's just really hard sometimes, and here I am. It's really exciting." The 24-year-old American carded a two-over 74 in the final round at Mission Hills Country Club in California to finish on 14-under 274, two clear of Jessica Korda.
Kupcho was stunned that her first win came at a major, with the first prize of $750,000 out of the $5 million purse. "A major is crazy," she said. "I came out just trying to shoot a couple under," Kupcho said. "I had a six-stroke lead and I shot 8 under yesterday, so I figured if someone can do that, then they deserve to be in a playoff.
That was really my mentality and that's what I was fighting for all day. Obviously, I didn't get there, but still pulled it out." "I'm still shaking but it was just so fun to be out there, especially with Patty (Tavatanakit).
It's a lot of hard work but a lot of deep breaths," said Kupcho after wrapping up her maiden win. "I've been so close a couple of times so it's just really hard sometimes. And here I am, it's really exciting. A major is crazy." Kupcho had the support of several of her friends on tour watching her come down the stretch.
"It's special," Kupcho said. "Honestly, I think one of the biggest things I've fought over the past year and a half is everyone's out here cheering for Nelly or Lexi or someone else that I'm playing with. I don't ever hear, ‘Go Jennifer.'
That was really special today, to have that." The victory at the first major of the LPGA season included a traditional leap into Poppie's Pond near the 18th green, though hers will be the last such plunge. The event previously known as the Nabisco Dinah Shore, the Kraft Nabisco Championship and the ANA Inspiration will move to Houston next season, leaving its iconic home in the California desert.