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A First-Year Success

Despite late pro start in 2019, Kupcho finishes 39th on LPGA money list in rookie season

By Gary Baines – 11/24/2019

Six months ago, Jennifer Kupcho began her professional career, having deferred accepting her LPGA Tour card until concluding her senior season at Wake Forest.

On Sunday, the mad dash that was the Westminster resident’s rookie season officially concluded. And though there were ups and downs along the way, overall it was certainly Mission: Accomplished for Kupcho, who will be fully exempt for her first full season on the LPGA Tour in 2020.

The 2019 Augusta National Women’s Amateur champion wrapped things up on Sunday CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, Fla., having finished 38th out of 60 in that lucrative event, which featured the largest first prize in the history of women’s golf ($1.5 million).

Kupcho won $23,309 Sunday in Naples, giving her $525,432 in prize winnings in 19 starts as an LPGA rookie. Only two other players in the top 50 on the final money list — Jessica Korda ($874,588 in 18 events) and Inbee Park ($781,166 in 17 starts) — did so in fewer than 20 tournaments.

More than half of Kupcho’s total prize money in 2019 — $290,778 — came from her runner-up showing at the Evian Championship, an LPGA major. 

The Coloradan finished 39th on the final 2019 money list — not bad considering she gave most of her competitors a considerable head start on the season.

All told, Kupcho recorded three top-five finishes on the LPGA circuit in 2019.

“And just like that, my rookie season on the @lpga_tour is complete!” Kupcho wrote on Twitter. “2019 has been quite the year. Looking back on it now, I’m happy to say I’m really proud of myself & what I’ve accomplished. Lots of incredible highs & some lows, but overall an awesome year of learning & growing.”

In Naples, the former top-ranked women’s amateur in the world went 72-72-69-73 for a 2-under-par 286 total, which left her 16 strokes behind champion Sei Young Kim of South Korea, who took home the $1.5 million on Sunday.