Jennifer Kupcho, Lizette Salas win LPGA Tour team event

Jul 16, 2022, 3:05 AM | Updated: 3:43 pm

MIDLAND, Mich. (AP) — Jennifer Kupcho and Lizette Salas won the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational on Saturday, closing with a 9-under 61 in best-ball play for a five-stroke victory in the LPGA Tour’s lone team event.

The U.S. Solheim Cup partners finished at 26-under 254 at Midland Country Club. They opened Wednesday with a 68 in alternate shot, shot a best-ball 61 on Thursday and took a four-stroke lead Friday with an alternate-shot 64.

“It was amazing to be alongside Lizette,” Kupcho said. “I think I was a little nervous coming into today just because I didn’t want to let her down. I’m sure she probably felt the same way.”

Kupcho won for the third time this year and in her career, while Salas won her second tour title. Kupcho won the major Chevron Championship in early April in the California desert and the Meijer LPGA Classic last month in Belmont, Michigan. Salas also won the 2014 Kingsmill Championship.

“It’s been a long time,” Salas said. “I couldn’t have done it without her. She’s a great competitor, a great friend, and an mazing partner on the golf course. We played some amazing golf this week. My job was — or my goal was — to play well for her. We showcased how our games can complement each other.”

They were 2-0-1 as partners in the 2021 Solheim Cup.

“We were clicking all week,” Kupcho said. “I think we just have a lot of faith in each other. We make each other comfortable. So we just know that if we mess up the other person has got us. That has worked really well for us.”

Matilda Castren and Kelly Tan were second after a 62.

“It’s been an unbelievable week,” Tan said. “It’s just so awesome that I got to do it with my best friend, Matilda, and to have my best finish on the LPGA Tour and being able to have so much fun on the week as well. That was amazing. I can’t ask for anything else.”

Former Arkansas players Stacy Lewis and Maria Fassi shot a 59 to finish third at 20 under.

“I think it’s confidence for both of us,” Lewis said. “I felt like I played some better golf this year and maybe the results haven’t showed, and talking to her, I think she could probably say the same thing. Just for both of us to see some putts go in and see some shots go in and doing what you are trying to do, it doesn’t matter what format it is.”

Cheyenne Knight and Elizabeth Szokol had a 61 to match Tiffany Chan and Haeji Kang at 19 under Chan and Kang shot a 62.

Annika Sorenstam and Madelene Sagstrom, tied for the first-round lead, closed with a 66 to tie for 28th at 11 under.

The 51-year-old Sorenstam made her second LPGA Tour start of the year and only her third since retiring after the 2008 season. The Hall of Famer missed the cut last month in the U.S. Women’s Open.

“I think this has been a great experience, great tournament,” Sorenstam said. “Dow, the way they support the LPGA is fantastic in this town. We felt so welcome. Everybody is friendly and happy. It’s been a great golf course.”

The tournament ended Saturday so players could head to France for the fourth major of the year at the Evian Championship. That will start the European portion of the LPGA Tour schedule that includes the Women’s British Open at Muirfield.

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