The Chevron Championships: Jennifer Kupcho takes two-shot victory at Mission Hills

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Jennifer Kupcho took the final victory leap into Poppie’s Pond late Sunday afternoon within the California desert, ending the event finest often called the Dinah Shore’s half-century run at Mission Hills.

Six strokes forward coming into the day, Kupcho shot a 2-over 74 for a two-stroke victory over Jessica Korda in The Chevron Championship.

“I feel it is surreal,” Kupcho mentioned.

“To be a significant winner is absolutely particular and to be the final particular person right here at Mission Hills to leap into Poppie’s Pond, it is all actually particular.” The 24-year-old from Colorado completed at 14-under 274. She’s the seventh participant to win their first LPGA Tour title within the occasion that began in 1972 and have become a significant in 1983. The event is transferring to Houston subsequent 12 months after failing to draw a sponsor to maintain it within the desert.

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Kupcho took the normal plunge into the pond subsequent to the 18th inexperienced with husband Jay Monahan and caddie David Eller.

“To only be capable of (win) rapidly after my wedding ceremony and be capable of have a good time with my husband and have him right here, it is actually particular,” Kupcho mentioned.

“I did not see him coming throughout the bridge. He picked me up. I do not suppose he is ever picked me up, in order that was fairly cool.” Seven strokes forward of Korda and defending champion Patty Tavatanakit at 18 below after holing birdie putts over 30 toes on the par-4 fourth and par-3 fifth, Kupcho performed the ultimate 13 holes in 4 over.

“Truthfully, I got here out simply attempting to shoot a pair below,” Kupcho mentioned.

“I imply, I had a six-stroke lead and I shot 8 below yesterday, so I figured if somebody can do this, then they need to be in a playoff. That was my mentality and what I used to be preventing for all day. Clearly, did not get there, however nonetheless pulled it out.” Korda shot a 69. Combating a again drawback, she holed her method for eagle on the par-4 third and pulled inside 4 with birdies on Nos. 11 and 12.

Korda was solely two strokes again after Kupcho bogeyed 13 and 14, however fell three behind with a bogey of her personal on 15 and parred the final three.

“Second place just isn’t unhealthy after being 3 over by means of seven (Thursday), so fairly happy with myself,” Korda mentioned after her finest main end.

“I actually wished to win this one as a result of I like this occasion. Fairly bummed that we’re leaving, however I perceive why.” Kupcho pushed the benefit to 4 with a 3-foot birdie putt on the fifteenth, and Korda missed a 12-foot birdie attempt quickly after on 16. Kupcho bogeyed the ultimate two holes, three-putting the par-5 18th.

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Kupcho received three years after passing up a spot within the occasion to play and win that week within the inaugural Augusta Nationwide Ladies’s Novice.

“I imply, it is surreal to have the ability to say that I used to be the final particular person right here and first particular person at Augusta,” Kupcho mentioned.

“Hopefully, that is not a seamless sample, as a result of we aren’t stopping in lots of locations quickly.” The 2018 NCAA champion at Wake Forest, Kupcho broke by means of in her sixty fifth begin on the LPGA Tour.

“I feel I’ve matured loads within the final 12 months and even since I have been out right here,” Kupcho mentioned.

“However I feel my placing has obtained loads higher. I have been in a position to calm myself down loads higher. Clearly, I nonetheless have my spurts of anger, however I feel that is how I get it out rapidly after which transfer on. I feel my entire psychological sport has gotten stronger.” The primary U.S. winner since Brittany Lincicome in 2015, Kupcho opened Thursday with a 66 for a share of the lead. She had a 70 on Friday and had the 64 on Saturday to interrupt the event 54-hole document at 16 below. She missed an opportunity to interrupt the 72-hole mark of 19 below set by Dottie Pepper in 1999.

Pia Babnik of Slovenia closed with a 66 to complete third at 11 below.

Tavatanakit, taking part in alongside Kupcho the final two days, birdied the 18th for a 72 to tie for fourth at 10 below with 2014 winner Lexi Thompson (68), second-round chief Hinako Shibuno (66) and Celine Boutier (67).

“Such wonderful reminiscences right here,” Thompson mentioned.

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