Duke four-time all-American and Epson Tour standout Jaravee Boonchant is ready to earn her LPGA Tour card and follow in Jennifer Kupcho's footsteps. Boonchant challenged Kupcho in the 2019 NCAA Championship as a sophomore and defeated the Wake Forest standout, a perfect culmination to Boonchant’s collegiate career. Having her Blue Devil’s capture another national title in the process was a bonus.
Now, Boonchant looks at Kupcho's major win at this year's Chevron Championship as a future goal, one she is confident she can attain.
"I wouldn't say she's a rival, but she's always been a very good golfer. I look up to her, and I played with her in college a couple of times. I want to get into the LPGA to play in the same league as her and play against her again," Jaravee said of Kupcho.
The 23-year-old Thai native said winning the 2021 LPGA Thailand Master boosted her confidence after a dry spell in Q-school.
"It was very special. In December of last year, I went through this missed-cut streak of three or four events, so I went back to Thailand. I had some weeks off, and I was able to refocus and work on my game. It was very nice to see that hard work pay off, and it boosted my confidence," she said.
Jaravee began playing golf when she was six years old, when her father introduced her to the game. "He was taking me to the driving range with him and would watch him hitting balls. I felt like I wanted to try out the sport so I could spend more time with him. I started taking lessons and I just kept playing since," she said.
Despite the distance and time change, Boonchant said her family is always cheering her on overseas. "They're not here with me, but they will be texting me and watching my score. Even if it's 2 a.m., my dad will still be awake and watching," she said.
Growing up, Boonchant would routinely miss school on Fridays to compete in weekend junior golf tournaments in Thailand. "We have a Thai Golf Association that I was playing in. If you keep enough ranking, you get to go to international tournaments in Asia, and also some in America," she said.
Boonchant moved to the US when she was a 14-year-old to attend the IMG Academy while her parents stayed back in Thailand. Although she went to a bilingual school, she wasn't fluent in English, making it a challenging transition.