Jennifer Kupcho won the LPGA Major Classic in the playoffs
Belmont, Mitch. – After losing a 2-foot eagle put on the first hole of the playoffs, Jennifer Kupcho won the LPGA Major Classic on Sunday when Leona Maguire’s 3-foot birdie effort slipped off her lips on the second extra hole.
Kupcho closed with a 1-under 71 to face fellow Nellie Corda and Maguire, who played at 18-under 270 at Blythefield Country Club. Maguire completed 65 runs and birdied both holes of the playoffs.
“It’s really special,” Kupcho said. “I’m really close, but this leaderboard was stacked. I think I’m most proud, they’re the players with me. It was a very close fight to the end, and I’m proud of it.”
Last year’s winner, Corda, scored 72 in the final after taking a one-stroke lead over Kupcho. Par-5 Corda was knocked out of the playoffs with a three-put par in the 18th first extra trip.
Kupcho won the LPGA Tour for the second time after her big win at Mission Hills in the California desert in early April. The 25-year-old former Wake Forest star from Colorado won the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur Competition in 2019.
Kupcho got off to a slow start with a double bogey on par-4 third and a bogey on par-4 sixth. She rebounded with an eagle on par-5 eighth and birdie on par-4 ninth. On the previous nine, she drew birds at par-4 12th and par-5 14th and bogeyed par-4 16th.
“I struggled a bit at first, so it tells me I can really get back out of it,” Kupcho said. “I’ve always known that I was a back-nine player and today, of course, that applied.”
Maguire became the first Irish winner in LPGA Tour history to win the LPGA Drive-on Championship at Crown Colony in early February.
The second-ranked Corda made her second start after returning from a four-month hiatus due to a blood clot in her left arm. She finished eighth in her first tournament since the beginning of February at the US Women’s Open two weeks ago.
“Unfortunately, sometimes you have it and sometimes you don’t,” Korda said. “I would be very happy if you told me that I think I would be here when I was in ER three, four months ago.”
Corda is also the previous winner in the KPGA Women’s PGA at the Congressional next week.
Lydia Co was fourth after 17 under 68.
2015 winner Lexi Thompson tied with Jessica Korda (67), Nellie’s older sister, and Carlotta Siganda (67) and Athaya Thitikul (68) to finish fifth in the under-16s with 70 runs.
“Of course, that’s not the result I wanted, but I felt strong all week and played great golf, and next week there’s nothing but positive things for the major game,” Thompson said.
Brooke Henderson, winner of the Shopright LPGA Classic in New Jersey last week and 2017 and 2019 champion at Blythfield, was 72 to finish in the 15-under.
US Women’s Open winner Minji Lee was 11-under 11 then under.