Belmont, Mich. ( Associated Press) — Jennifer Kupcho won the LPGA Meijer Classic on Sunday after missing a 2-foot eagle putt on the first hole of the playoffs when Leona Maguire’s 3-foot birdie went off the second extra hole.
Kupcho closed with 1-under 71 to match Nelly Korda and Maguire at 18-under 270 at Blythfield Country Club. Kupcho birdies on both holes of the playoff.
“It’s really special,” Kupcho said. “I’ve been really close, but this leaderboard was stacked up. I think the thing I’m most proud of is the players who were with me. It was a very close fight till the end and I’m proud of it.” Is.”
Maguire scored 65 and birdied the first extra hole and missed the short put on the second.
“I thought she was going to make it,” Kupcho said. “When he hit it through the hole and I still had to get out of the fringe, I thought to myself, This isn’t a gym because I was just shaking and essentially missed the putt of the same length.”
Last year’s winner, Korda, made 72 after taking a one-stroke lead over Kupcho in the final round. Korda crashed out of the playoffs with a three-putt par, on the first extra trip in a par-5 18th place.
Maguire found new life when Kupcho’s 2-footer slipped to the left.
“I missed the putt,” Kupcho said. “I almost missed the putt in regulation, the same putt. It comes with a lot of nerves and a lot of shaking.”
After his big win at Mission Hills in the California desert in early April, Kupcho went on to win a second time on the LPGA Tour. The 25-year-old former Wake Forest star from Colorado won the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur in 2019.
Kupcho got off to a slow start with a double bogey on Par-4 third and a bogey on Par-4 sixth. She overturned with an eagle on par-5 eighth and birdie on par-4 ninth. In the last 9th place, he birdieed Par-4, 12th and Para-5, 14th and bogeyed Para-4 at 16th place.
“I struggled a little bit in the beginning, so it tells me I can really come back from this,” Kupcho said. “I’ve always known that I’m a nine-year-old and that certainly applies from today.”
Maguire won the LPGA Drive On Championship at Crown Colony in early February and became the first Irish winner in LPGA Tour history.
Second-ranked Korda made her second start after returning from a four-month break after suffering a blood clot in her left arm. She finished eighth two weeks ago at the US Women’s Open in her first event since early February.
“Unfortunately, sometimes you have and sometimes you don’t,” Korda said. “I would have been much happier if you told me I was here three, four months ago when I was in the ER.”
Korda is also the defending champion in the KPGA Women’s PGA at next week’s Congressional.
Lydia was fourth at 17-under after Ko 68.
Lexi Thompson, the 2015 winner, closed with 70 to finish fifth in 16 with Jessica Korda (67), Nelly’s older sister, and Carlotta Ciganda (67) and Athaya Thitikul (68).
“Of course, it’s not the result I wanted, but I felt strong and played great golf all week, and nothing but positive to have a major role next week,” Thompson said.
Brooke Henderson, last week’s ShopRite LPGA Classic winner in New Jersey and the 2017 and 2019 champion at Blythefield, had 72 to finish at 15-under,
US Women’s Open winner Minjie Lee was 11-under after 74.
“I think it’s even better than before personally,” Kupcho said. I had such a huge lead going into the final round at Chevron, so there were top-ranked players all over the place to come out of this one. The leaderboard was packed, within strokes, so it was really close and I feel very proud of myself coming out of it. ,