Jennifer Kupcho Closes Chevron Championship Victory for First LPGA Tour Title in Major’s Last Run at Mission Hills

RANCHO MIRAGE, California – Jennifer Kupcho took the final victory jump in Poppie’s Pond late Sunday afternoon, ending the tournament known primarily as the half-century run of Dinah Shore at Mission Hills in the California desert.

Six strokes ahead in the round, Kupcho shot a 2-over 74 for a two-stroke victory over Jessica Korda in The Chevron Championship. The 24-year-old from Colorado finished at 14-under 274 for her first LPGA Tour title.

The event, which began in 1972 as the Colgate-Dinah Shore Winner’s Circle and became a major in 1983, will move to Houston next year after failing to attract a sponsor who is ready to take it to the desert. hold.

Seven strokes for Korda and defending champion Patty Tavatanakit on 18 under after hollow birdie putts over 30 feet on the par-4 fourth and par-3 fifth, Kupcho played the final 13 holes in 4 over.

Korda shot a 69. Fighting a back problem, she kept her approach to eagle on the par-4 third and pulled within four with birds on no. 11 and 12.

Korda was only two strokes back after Kupcho hit 13 and 14, but fell three behind with his own bogey at 15 and parried the last three.

Kupcho pushed the lead to four with a 3-foot birdie putt on the 15th, and Korda missed a 12-foot birdie try shortly thereafter on 16. Kupcho bogeyed the last two holes, three putting the par-5 18th.

The first U.S. winner since Brittany Lincicome in 2015, Kupcho opened Thursday with a 66 for a share of the lead. She had a 70 on Friday and shot 64 on Saturday to break the tournament 54-hole record at 16 under. She missed an opportunity to break the 72-hole mark of 19 under set by Dottie Pepper in 1999.

Kupcho won three years after losing a spot in the contest to play that week and win in the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur. She also won the 2018 NCAA Individual title for Wake Forest.

Pia Babnik of Slovenia closed with a 66 and finished third at 11 under.

Tavatanakit, who has played alongside Kupcho the last two days, finished 18th for a 72 for a draw for fourth on 10 under May 2014 winner Lexi Thompson (68), leader in second round Hinako Shibuno (66) and Celine Boutier (67 ).

Chella Choi won a BMW iX with a hole-in-one on the par-3 17th. She used a 4-hybrid on the 181-yard hole. Choi shot a 71 for a draw for 53rd on even par. Pernilla hit the 166-yard fifth with a 7-yard touchdown. The 2018 winner also shot 71 to finish on even par.

Brooke Seay, the Stanford junior who refused a spot in Augusta to play the last event at Mission Hills, was the only one of the four amateurs to make the cut. She finished with a 73 for 65th on 2 over.

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