Jennifer Kupcho became the first player of the season eligible for the 2022 Rolex ANNIKA Major Award with her victory at the Chevron Championship at Mission Hills Country Club.
Kupcho took a six-stroke lead into the final round of the season’s first major championship with a third round, 64 to match her career best on the LPGA Tour. Jessica Korda, who began the final day seven-back of the leader, mounted a Sunday charge that was punctuated by a hole-out from the rough for eagle at the par 4, third hole. But Kupcho remained steady Even when she suffered bogeys over the closing stretch, which allowed Korda to creep closer to the top of the leaderboard, Kupcho bounced-back with birdies to once again extend her lead. Kupcho held on for a two-stroke victory over Korda to become a Rolex First-Time Winner on the LPGA Tour and also a first-time major champion with her victory at Mission Hills.
“I came out just trying to shoot a couple under,” Kupcho said about her game-plan on Sunday. “I had a six-stroke lead and I shot 8-under yesterday, so I figured if someone can do that, then they deserve to be in a playoff. That was my mentality and what I was fighting for all day.”
With her victory, Kupcho earned 60 points to take the early lead in the Rolex ANNIKA Major Award point standings. Korda’s second place finish earned her 24 points which puts her at No. 2 behind Kupcho in the standings. Pia Babnik, a high school junior and member of the Ladies European Tour, earned 18 points with her career-best third place finish on Sunday. Hinako Shibuno, Celine Boutier, Lexi Thompson and Patty Tavatanakit finished tied for fourth and each received 14 points.
Each season, the Rolex ANNIKA Major Award is presented to the player who has the most consistent record in all five major championships - the Chevron Championship, U.S. Women’s Open, KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, Amundi Evian Championship and AIG Women’s Open. Points are awarded to players who finish within the top-10 at each of the season’s majors. A player must win at least one major championship during the season in order to be eligible.
The 2022 recipient of the Rolex Annika Major Award will be recognized at the Rolex LPGA Awards at the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, Florida. Patty Tavatanakit, winner of the 2021 Chevron Championship, was the most recent recipient of the award.