Jennifer Kupcho will tee it up in her first men’s professional tournament alongside a familiar face: her brother, Steven.
After winning her first professional title at the CoBank Colorado Women’s Open at Green Valley Ranch in Denver last June, Jennifer received an invitation to compete against the men July 23-26 on the same course.
“I’m not really setting any expectations,” Jennifer told Golfweek in a text, “but definitely plan to play my best and am feeling very motivated by the challenge of playing against such a great field. Regardless of the outcome, I’m really just appreciative of the opportunity to raise the visibility of women in golf and am excited to get to play alongside the guys. I hope it opens some eyes, raises some questions and maybe even inspires others.”
Jennifer, of course, won the 2018 NCAA Championship while at Wake Forest and made history as the first woman to win a tournament at Augusta National last year. The 23-year-old turned professional after she graduated last spring and is 54th in the Rolex Rankings. She’ll be in the field next week in Toledo, Ohio, when the LPGA restarts its season at the new Drive On LPGA Championship at Inverness.
In June, Jennifer shattered the tournament scoring record by five strokes with rounds of 67-65-68 at Green Valley. The course will play considerably longer this week, around 900 yards longer, than it did for the women. Jennifer currently ranks fifth on the LPGA in driving distance at 276 yards.
Older brother, Steven, comes into the event on a hot streak after carding 63-62 to get into a playoff and win on the Dakotas Tour one week after tying the knot. Jennifer says she has always looked up to her brother and that her swing was influenced by trying to keep up with him off the tee at a young age. Steven played collegiate golf at Northern Colorado.
“We’re so close in age and we really learned the game of golf by playing together when we were growing up,” she wrote. “We’re both very competitive and like to push each other, so having that sort of sibling rivalry dynamic from the start absolutely played a role in my competitive nature.”
The first brother-sister duo to compete in the Colorado Open tee off at 2:35 ET time alongside defending champion Sam Saunders.