It’s Go Time

Colorado native Jennifer Kupcho will take a winning Solheim Cup record into matches in Spain; foursomes start the competition on Friday, but Kupcho won’t compete in that session

By Gary Baines – 9/21/2023

The Solheim Cup will begin Friday in Andalucia, Spain, and Jennifer Kupcho, the only Solheim Cup competitor to have grown up in Colorado, has quite a distinction:

The 26-year-old Colorado native is the only Solheim Cup player on the 2023 American roster to have posted a winning record the last time the match-pay competition between the U.S. and Europe was contested.

Kupcho went 2-1-1 in Toledo, Ohio in 2021 as a S.C. rookie. Lizette Salas (2-1-1) and Yealimi Noh (2-1) also had winning marks for the Americans, but they didn’t make this year’s team. Kupcho and Salas teamed up to go 2-0-1 in four-ball and foursomes matches two years ago.

Kupcho, who owns a major championship title among her three LPGA Tour victories, will try to parlay her strong showing in 2021 into another one this weekend, when the Americans will be trying to snap the Solheim Cup win streak of the European squad at two.

Kupcho wasn’t selected for Friday morning’s foursomes/alternate shot matches, but could be picked for the afternoon four-ball competition. Those pairings will be announced near the end of or after the foursomes on Friday.

Kupcho, competing at a European-based Solheim Cup for the first time, initially was exposed to the Solheim Cup in person at the 2013 matches that were held at Colorado Golf Club. She was there in person to witness the festivities. 

“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,” the two-time state high school individual champion from Jefferson Academy told in 2021, looking back on that experience.

But the atmosphere figures to be dissimilar this weekend in Spain, from an American’s perspective, compared to a U.S.-based Solheim Cup.

“It’s for sure going to be a lot different,” the former NCAA and Augusta National Women’s Amateur champion said 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 2023 Solheim Cup teammate 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. Overall, she’s made 14 cuts in 19 events on the LPGA circuit so far this year.

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 

Here is the TV lineup (MT) for this weekend’s Solheim Cup:

Friday — Alternate shot and four-ball, midnight-11 a.m., Golf Channel/Peacock

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 since 2009. He was inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame in 2022. He owns and operates