Strong Showings By Locals

Impending Colorado Golf Hall of Famer Jennifer Kupcho places in top 3 — again — in LPGA Tour’s Mizuho Americas Open; Mark Hubbard posts best finish in a major

By Gary Baines – 5/19/2024

One Colorado native recorded her best LPGA Tour finish in almost a year. Another posted by far the best showing of his career in a major championship.

Jennifer Kupcho proved she has taken quite a shine to Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, N.J., across from the Manhattan skyline. That’s the site of the LPGA Tour’s Mizuho Americas Open. It’s also where Kupcho has posted her only top-5 finishes on the LPGA Tour since the middle of 2022.

A year after placing second in a playoff — losing to Rose Zhang — at the MAO, Kupcho tied for third place in the same tournament on Sunday. The impending Colorado Golf Hall of Famer ended up at 10 under par (69-71-67-71), four strokes behind champion Nelly Korda, who won for the sixth time in 2024. The showing was worth $146,358 for Kupcho, who shared the lead after 10 holes on Sunday but suffered a setback when she double bogeyed No. 14.

Though the former Westminster resident hasn’t regained the form she had in the first half of 2022 — when she won three LPGA Tour titles, including a major — she’s certainly improving as of late. She owns four top-15 finishes since late March, including an eighth place and Sunday’s third.

Overall, Sunday was Kupcho’s 18th career top-10 on the LPGA circuit.

For all the scores from the Mizuho Americas Open, CLICK HERE.

Meanwhile,though Denver native Mark Hubbard didn’t make a weekend run at the PGA Championship title after being in fourth place after 36 holes, he easily recorded his best showing in his four major-championship appearances.

The Colorado Academy graduate, whose best career finish on the PGA Tour is second place in the 2019 Houston Open, placed 26th on Sunday at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky.

He backed up weekday rounds of 65-68 with scores of 73-69 on the weekend and checked in at 9 under par, 12 strokes behind winner Xander Schauffele. Hubbard’s previous best performance in a major was 51st in the 2020 PGA Championship.

Oddly, world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler was paired with a Denver native for all four rounds of the PGA as Wyndham Clark joined him on Thursday and Friday and Hubbard on Saturday and Sunday.

For all the scores from Valhalla, CLICK HERE.

Elsewhere in tour golf for players with strong Colorado connections:

— Becca Huffer of Monument tied for seventh on Saturday at the Copper Rock Championship in Hurricane, Utah, marking her first top-10 of the year. The two-time Inspirato Colorado Women’s Open champion went 71-69-67 for a 9-under-par total, which left her 13 strokes behind New Zealand 19-year-old Fiona Xu, who set the 54-hole scoring record for the Epson Tour at 22 under. Huffer earned $6,668. Huffer, who also has conditional status on the LPGA Tour this year (one start on that circuit this year, a missed cut), posted four top-4 finishes on the Epson circuit in 2023. SCORES

— Former University of Denver golfer Ellie Givens finished a season-best sixth on Sunday at the Amundi German Masters, the seventh top-10 showing of her Ladies European Tour career. Givens (74-72-65-70 for a 7-under total) ended up five strokes behind champion Alexandra Forsterling, who won in her home country. SCORES

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. The University of Colorado Evans Scholar alum was inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame in 2022. He owns and operates