Jennifer Kupcho Claims Maiden Major Title At The Chevron Championship

Despite a scrappy back nine, Kupcho managed to secure her first Major title at Mission Hills Country Club

Kupcho kisses trophy
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Having produced a 54 hole tournament-record of 16-under-par, Jennifer Kupcho (opens in new tab) was looking to build on that lead further and, following a one-under-par front nine, that is exactly what she was doing, with her six-shot overnight lead increasing to seven.

However, over the beginning of the back nine the nerves seemed to be getting to the 24-year-old, with Kupcho's lead being reduced to just two shots at one point! The American wouldn't panic though, producing a stunning approach at the 15th to regain a four-shot advantage from which she'd close out the tournament.

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For the 51st and final time, The Chevron Championship (opens in new tab)would be featuring at Mission Hills Country Club in California, before it moves to a new venue in Houston, Texas.

Perhaps fittingly then, it was one of the games future stars who claimed the title, as the inaugural Augusta National Women's Amateur (opens in new tab) winner picked up a two-shot win over an extremely stacked leaderboard.

Having represented Team USA at the Solheim Cup in 2021, there was one thing that had been alluding the 24-year-old and that was a Major title, with Kupcho producing two top-10 finishes in 16 Major starts.

However, following her rounds of 66, 70 and 64, the American found herself six shots clear of the event's defending champion, Patty Tavatanakit (opens in new tab), with her score of 200 and 16-under-par a new tournament record.

Early in the round that six shot overnight lead was soon seven, with Kupcho producing a barrage of lengthy birdie putts to sit two-under-par through seven holes. Despite a bogey at the eighth, the American was still six shots clear going into the back nine, with her display on the greens really separating her from the field.

Kupcho celebrates

Kupcho celebrates with Patty Tavatanakit after winning The 2022 Chevron Championship

(Image credit: Getty Images)

But, Kupcho's putter at the start of the back nine soon began to dry up, with dropped shots on the 10th, 13th and 14th being capitalised on by the chasing pack. Specifically, her Solheim Cup teammate, Jessica Korda (opens in new tab), who was playing valiantly through back spasms to get within two shots of Kupcho at one point.

Soon though, a killer blow seemed to be dealt on the 15th, with Kupcho sticking her approach to near gimme range for birdie, whilst Korda failed to get up-and-down at the hole ahead. Because of the two shot swing, Kupcho soon had a four-shot advantage and breathing space with a handful of holes left to play.

And, despite a bogey-bogey finish, the win was Kupcho's, with the victory making her the final ever winner of The Chevron Championship at Mission Hills Country Club, plus the last ever leaper into Poppie's Pond (opens in new tab), a tradition that started back in 1988 and had stayed ever since.

Matt Cradock
Matt Cradock

Matt studied Sports Journalism at Southampton Solent University, graduating in 2019. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly and the PGA, he covers all aspects of the game, from Tour news to equipment testing and buyers’ guides. Taking up the game at the age of six, Matt currently holds a handicap of 3 and despite not having a hole in one…yet, he has had two albatrosses. His favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.