Jennifer Kupcho falls in singles and goes winless in second trip to Solheim Cup; Americans manage tie, but Europe retains the Cup as the defending champion; former Aspen resident Justin Leonard loses in playoff on PGA Tour Champions
By Gary Baines – 9/24/2023
After being one of just three Americans to post a winning record in the 2021 Solheim Cup, Colorado native Jennifer Kupcho couldn’t replicate that performance this time around.
Anna Nordqvist of Sweden, a veteran of eight Solheim Cups, defeated Kupcho 2 and 1 on Sunday in singles in Andalucia, Spain. That dropped the American to an 0-2-1 record in her first Solheim Cup on foreign soil, with a tie in four-ball, and losses in foursomes and singles.
The Americans needed another half point from a player that lost or tied on Sunday in order to regain the Cup. As it was, the U.S. and Europe tied 14-14, and because Europe was the defending champion, it will retain the Cup.
“I told them how proud I was of them,” American captain Stacy Lewis said of her team. “I don’t want to sound like a sore loser, but it was a tie. We came into this environment with five rookies. This will be very good for them.”
In her match, Kupcho didn’t record a birdie until No. 14 in the singles after she and Lilia Vu didn’t make their first one in Saturday’s foursomes until that same hole.
It was certainly an oddity for a player who ranks 11th on the LPGA Tour for birdies made with 232 this year. Kupcho is also first in eagles recorded, with 12. She played the 17 holes of her match on Sunday in 3 over par.
Nordqvist, a winner of three major championships, is undefeated in her last six singles matches at the Solheim Cup — 3-0-3. But it was Nordqvist’s first victory in this Solheim Cup after going 0-3 in partner matches.
The Swede won three consecutive holes (5-7) on Sunday against Kupcho, who bogeyed all three, to take command. The 26-year-old from Colorado won the eighth and 13th with pars and the 14th with a 15-foot birdie — sandwiched around a gimme birdie by Nordqvist on 12. Butthe veteran was able to keep Kupcho at bay. Nordqvist won No. 16 with a birdie from 6 feet, then tied 17 with a par to close out the match.
The loss dropped Kupcho — a three-time winner on the LPGA Tour — to a 2-3-2 overall record in two Solheim Cup appearances, including an 0-2 mark in singles. Kupcho is the only golfer who’s grown up in Colorado to compete in the Solheim Cup.
Kupcho could manage just one birdie in her Sunday singles match.
The Solheim Cup, normally a biennial event, will be held again next year — Sept 13-15 in Gainesville, Va. Both teams will have the same captains as this year — Lewis (U.S.) and Suzann Pettersen (Europe).
For all the results Spain, CLICK HERE
How Jennifer Kupcho Has Fared, Match-by-Match, at 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
2023 Friday Four-Ball — Kupcho and Allisen Corpuz (USA) tied Emily Pedersen and Maja Stark (Europe)
2023 Saturday Foursomes — Pedersen and Carlota Ciganda (Europe) def. Kupcho and Lilia Vu (USA), 2 and 1
2023 Sunday Singles — Anna Nordqvist (Europe) def. Kupcho (USA), 2 and 1
— Elsewhere in major tour golf: Former Aspen resident Justin Leonard came ever so close to picking up his first PGA Tour Champions victory, but a double bogey at Pebble Beach Golf Links’ famed 18th hole — on the fourth hole of a playoff — left the 12-time PGA Tour winner with a runner-up finish. Thongchai Jaidee parred the fourth playoff hole to earn the victory after both players finished at 14 under par at the PURE Insurance Championship. Leonard, who carded scores of 69-65-68, resided in Aspen from 2015-22. He and Jaidee matched scores of par-birdie-par on the first three playoff holes. SCORES …
Former University of Colorado golfer Yannik Paul tied for sixth place on Sunday in the DP World Tour’s Kazoo Open de France. Paul posted rounds of 67-68-67-73 to finish 9 under par and five back of champion Ryo Hisatsune. It was Paul’s seventh top-10 finish of 2023 on the former European Tour. SCORES …
Another former Buff golfer, Robyn Choi, moved into the top 10 on the Epson Tour’s season points list with a runner-up finish at the Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout in Arkansas. Choi tied for second at 7 under par (67-73-69), three strokes behind winner Natasha Andrea Oon. With the top 10 on the points list at season end — after the Epson Tour Championship Oct. 5-8 — earning a 2024 LPGA Tour card, Choi stands ninth. Choi previously was an LPGA Tour player in 2019. 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 ColoradoGolf.org since 2009. He was inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame in 2022. He owns and operates ColoradoGolfJournal.com