Chevron Championship: Jennifer Kupcho wraps up first major victory and maiden LPGA Tour win | Golf News

Jennifer Kupcho celebrates after clinching victory at the Chevron Championship

Jennifer Kupcho celebrates after clinching victory at the Chevron Championship

Jennifer Kupcho overcame a back-nine stumble to win the Chevron Championship, securing her maiden major victory and first on the LPGA Tour.

The 24-year-old American, who won the Augusta National Women’s Amateur three years ago, carded a two-over 74 in the final round at Mission Hills Country Club in California to finish on 14-under 274, two clear of Jessica Korda.

Kupcho started the day on 16 under, with a six-shot lead after a 64 on Saturday, and extended her advantage to seven following a strong start which saw her hole some lengthy putts as she birdied the second, fourth and fifth either side of a bogey at the third.

Defending champion Patty Tavatanakit of Thailand was Kupcho’s nearest pursuer overnight and played alongside her in the final group, but she endured a frustrating day as she missed numerous chances after sandwiching a bogey at the fourth with birdies at the second and fifth.

That left Korda to mount the strongest challenge after she was buoyed by an eagle at the third where she holed out from just off the fairway.

Jessica Korda reacts after making an eagle from just off the fairway on the third hole during the final round

Jessica Korda reacts after making an eagle from just off the fairway on the third hole during the final round

Kupcho faltered with bogeys at the eighth and 10th before holing another long birdie putt at the 11th, but her lead suddenly looked in danger after back-to-back bogeys at the 13th, where she three-putted, and par-three 14th, where she missed the green left.

Korda, who had birdied the 11th and 12th, was as a result briefly only two behind her fellow American until she missed a short par putt at the 15th which Kupcho then birdied after knocking her approach shot to two feet to regain a four-shot cushion.

Kupcho mixed seven bogeys with five birdies in her final round

Kupcho mixed seven bogeys with five birdies in her final round

There was to be another slip-up from Kupcho at the 17th but, with three shots to spare, she was able to make a three-putt bogey at the 18th before celebrating the victory and then leaping into Poppie’s Pond – the final winner to do so as the tournament will move to Houston next year – after receiving the trophy.

“I’m still shaking but it was just so fun to be out there, especially with Patty. It’s a lot of hard work but a lot of deep breaths,” said Kupcho after wrapping up her maiden win.

“I’ve been so close a couple of times so it’s just really hard sometimes. And here I am, it’s really exciting. A major is crazy.”

Korda, who was troubled by a back problem, parred the final three holes for a 69, while Slovenian Pia Babnik, 18, made her mark on the tournament with a superb 66, featuring an eagle at the second and five birdies, to storm into third place on 11 under.

Her score was matched by Hinako Shibuno of Japan as the halfway leader bounced back from her third-round 77 to share fourth place on 10 under with Celine Boutier of France (67), American Lexi Thompson (68) and Tavatanakit (72), who birdied the 18th after bogeys at 15 and 16.

Patty Tavatanakit made a solid defence of the title but struggled to make an impact on Sunday

Patty Tavatanakit made a solid defence of the title but struggled to make an impact on Sunday

England’s Georgia Hall enjoyed a decent finish with a three-under 69 lifting her to six under and into a tie for 13th place, while Charley Hull’s 73 left her four under and joint-25th.

Ireland’s Leona Maguire closed with a 71 to end up on two under and joint-39th, with Mel Reid (72) tied 44th on one under.

Chella Choi of South Korea earned a BMW iX with a hole-in-one on the par-three 17th, while Pernilla Lindberg of Sweden aced the 166-yard fifth – they both finished level-par and tied 53rd.

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What time does The Masters coverage start? What extra feeds are available? How can I follow the action from Augusta National? Our guide to watching the opening men’s major of the year live on Sky Sports Golf.

Monday April 4

1700-1900 – On the Range LIVE!

1900-2200 – Live from The Masters

Tuesday April 5

1400-2200 – Live from The Masters

Wednesday April 6

1400-1900 – Live from The Masters

1900-2230 – The Masters: Par-3 contest LIVE!

Thursday April 7

1400-1930 – Featured Groups LIVE!

1930-0030 – The Masters: Day one LIVE!

Red button (exact timings TBC) – 1330 On the Range, 1430 Holes 4-6, 1545 Amen Corner, 1645 Holes 15-16, 1830 Featured Groups

Friday April 8

1400-1930 – Featured Groups LIVE!

1930-0030 – The Masters: Day two LIVE!

Red button (exact timings TBC) – 1330 On the Range, 1430 Holes 4-6, 1545 Amen Corner, 1645 Holes 15-16, 1830 Featured Groups

Saturday April 9

0900-1200 – Masters Breakfast LIVE!

1500-1930 – The Masters build-up LIVE!

1930-0030 – The Masters: Day three LIVE!

Red button (exact timings TBC) – 1515 Featured Groups, 1530 Holes 4-6, 1600 On the Range, 1645 Amen Corner, 1730 Holes 15-16

Sunday April 10

0900-1200 – Masters Breakfast LIVE!

1500-1830 – The Masters build-up LIVE!

1830-0030 – The Masters: Day four LIVE!

Red button (exact timings TBC) – 1515 Featured Groups, 1530 Holes 4-6, 1600 On the Range, 1645 Amen Corner, 1730 Holes 15-16

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