Colorado native Jennifer Kupcho earns spot on U.S. Solheim Cup team again, this time with the matches in Europe
By Gary Baines – 8/28/2023
Jennifer Kupcho was a 16-year-old in the midst of her time going to school at Jefferson Academy when she attended the Solheim Cup in 2013 at Colorado Golf Club in Parker.
“I remember watching and thinking how cool it would be to be in that spotlight and be able to play and compete, especially with so many fans and it being so competitive,” Kupcho told ColoradoGolf.org in 2021, looking back on that experience.
As it turned out, later that year of 2021, the Colorado native made that dream a reality, representing the U.S. in the Solheim Cup competition that pits the best players from the U.S. against counterparts from Europe.
Even though the Americans lost to the Europeans two years ago — marking the Euros’ second straight victory in the competition, and just their second win ever on U.S. soil, following their rout of the Americans in 2013 in Colorado — Kupcho performed well individually. As the first Solheim Cup competitor to have grown up in Colorado, she won twice, lost once and tied once. She was one of just three Americans to finish with winning records that weekend, joining Lizette Salas (2-1-1) and Yealimi Noh (2-1-0). Kupcho and Salas teamed up to go 2-0-1 in four-ball and foursomes matches.
Early this year, Kupcho noted that one of her biggest goals was to represent the U.S. again at the 2023 Solheim Cup, set for Sept. 22-24 in Andalucia, Spain. And on Sunday (Aug. 27), her wish was officially granted as the former longtime Westminster resident earned one of the seven automatic berths — via a points list — on the 12-player American squad.
After playing the event in Toledo, Ohio in 2021, this will be a much different atmosphere with the Europeans competing on home soil.
“It’s for sure going to be a lot different,” Kupcho told ColoradoGolf.org earlier this year. “The last Solheim Cup with all of the Covid stuff, not many European fans could come over (to the U.S. in 2021). It really was a lot of USA. It’s going to be very different going over there and playing on their soil. We’re really excited with our captain — Stacy (Lewis) — and for what’s to come.”
Kupcho won on the LPGA Tour for the first time last year — and made that first victory a major, at the Chevron Championship. She quickly added two more victories, but has gone winless since July 2022. This year, she’s been in contention less, but finished second to Rose Zhang in a playoff at the Mizuho Americas Open in early June and followed that up with a sixth place at the Meijer LPGA Classic. Meanwhile, her best performance at a major in 2023 came at the Amundi Evian Championship last month, when the 26-year-old tied for 14th place. Overall, she’s made 12 cuts in 17 events on the LPGA circuit so far this year.
Kupcho, winner of the 2020 Inspirato Colorado Women’s Open, is certainly no stranger to playing for the U.S. in international competitions. As an amateur in 2018, the 2018 NCAA individual champ and 2019 Augusta National Women’s Amateur winner helped American teams win the Curtis Cup, the Arnold Palmer Cup and the Women’s World Amateur Team Championship.
Kupcho earning a spot on the U.S. Solheim Cup team comes on the heels of fellow Colorado native Wyndham Clark becoming the first Colorado high school graduate since 1991 to be named to a Ryder Cup team.
How Jennifer Kupcho Fared, Match-by-Match, at 2021 Solheim Cup
2021 Saturday Four-Ball — Kupcho and Lizette Salas (USA) def. Carlota Ciganda and Sophia Popov (Europe), 1 up
2021 Sunday Foursomes — Kupcho and Salas (USA) def. Anna Nordqvist and Matilda Castren (Europe), 3 and 1
2021 Sunday Four-Ball — Kupcho and Salas (USA) tied with Leona Maguire and Mel Reid (Europe)
2021 Monday Singles — Maguire (Europe) def. Kupcho (USA), 5 and 4
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