Colorado native Jennifer Kupcho remains unbeaten in Solheim Cup partner matches after teaming with Allisen Corpuz to earn a tie in four-ball; U.S. leads Europeans 5-3 after day 1 in Spain
By Gary Baines – 9/22/2023
Before Friday, Jennifer Kupcho had never competed in a Solheim Cup partner pairing without Lizette Salas, with whom the Colorado native went 2-0-1 in four-ball and foursomes matches two years ago.
But in her first match of the 2023 Solheim Cup in Andalucia, Spain — after not competing in the first session of the day — Kupcho wasn’t by any means alone on foreign soil. Of course, she had her caddie, as well as American four-ball teammate Allisen Corpuz. But it certainly didn’t hurt that also in her group was her husband, Jay Monahan, who happens to be Corpuz’s caddie.
And, sure enough, Kupcho looked very comfortable to start the match, driving the green on the par-4 first hole and two-putting for birdie, then adding a 15-foot birdie on No. 2. The three-time winner on the LPGA Tour also drained birdie putts of 8 feet on No. 9, 7 feet on No. 13 and 15 feet on No. 14.
And when Corpuz sank a 14-foot birdie on the 18th hole Friday, Kupcho remained unbeaten in partner matches all-time at the Solheim Cup. With a four-ball tie with Europe’s Emily Pedersen and Maja Stark, Kupcho improved to 2-0-2 in Solheim partner competition.
Kupcho and Corpuz, who have each won a major championship since the beginning of 2022, led most of the day on Friday, but they had to bounce back after Pedersen won the par-3 12th hole with just the second hole-in-one in Solheim Cup history.
Kupcho and Corpuz seemed to have a decent shot at pushing their lead to 2 up there as both Americans were inside of 10 feet for birdie. But Pedersen quickly changed that by banking her ball off the hill to the left of the green and making the ace. That not only won the hole but tied the match. (Note: The first Solheim ace came at Colorado Golf Club’s 17th hole, with Anna Nordqvist of Sweden doing the honors in 2013.)
Kupcho (right) with Corpuz (center) and Jay Monahan, who is Kupcho’s husband and Corpuz’s caddie.
But Kupcho answered that highlight on the next hole, sinking a 7-footer for birdie that put the Americans back ahead. Then her birdie on 14 kept the Europeans from winning that hole.
Stark knotted the match by hitting her approach to 6 inches on 16. The great shotmaking continued on 17 where Pedersen dropped her tee shot to 2 feet, Corpuz to 6 inches and Kupcho to 7 feet, with the teams tying with birdies.
On the par-5 18th, with the match tied, after Corpuz put her approach 14 feet from the cup, Kupcho missed the green right from 82 yards and in the fairway. Both Pedersen and Stark were inside of Corpuz with their third shots. Kupcho got up and down for par after hitting the flag with her pitch, with her ball dropping to 6 inches from the cup. Then Corpuz, the 2023 U.S. Women’s Open champion, rolled in her birdie, with Stark matching that birdie from 10 feet, producing the overall tie for the match.
Kupcho now owns a 2-0-2 record in Solheim Cup partner matches.
With the Americans sweeping all four of Friday’s foursomes (alternate shot) matches in the morning, Europe claimed three of the four available four-ball points, leaving the U.S. up 5-3 after day 1. Europe is looking to win the Solheim Cup for the third straight time.
Kupcho will be paired with Lilia Vu, a two-time major winner in 2023, on Saturday morning, this time in a foursomes (alternate-shot) matchup with Pedersen and Spaniard Carlota Ciganda. Kupcho out-dueled Ciganda at the 2020 Inspirato Colorado Women’s Open, where they finished 1-2. The Kupcho/Vu vs. Pedersen/Ciganda match will begin at 12:10 a.m. (MT) on Saturday. Four-ball action will follow foursomes on day 2. Golf Channel will televise the action from midnight to 11 a.m. (MT).
For all the results from the Solheim Cup, CLICK HERE.
Here is the remaining TV lineup (MT) for this weekend’s Solheim Cup:
Saturday — Alternate shot and four-ball, midnight-11 a.m., Golf Channel/Peacock
Sunday — Singles, 3-9 a.m., Golf Channel/Peacock
About the Writer: Gary Baines has covered golf in Colorado continuously since 1983. He was a sports writer at the Daily Camera newspaper in Boulder, then the sports editor there, and has written regularly for ColoradoGolf.org since 2009. He was inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame in 2022. He owns and operates ColoradoGolfJournal.com