American Jennifer Kupcho is expecting a very different challenge as she defends her first major title away from the familiar surrounds of last year’s triumph, with the Chevron Championship kicking off the women’s major calendar at a new Texas venue after more than 50 years in its former Palm Springs home, Reuters reported.
Kupcho had yet to clinch a LPGA Tour title before her victory last year, when she held on through a nervy back nine to win by two shots.
Yet the world number 20 will find very different conditions this year at Carlton Woods course.
“It’s going to be a lot windier. Obviously the humidity, the ball doesn’t quite go as far here as I feel like in the desert, so that also contributes to the length,” said Kupcho.
“It’s been different for me, as well, because usually I play before the week of a major, and I took last week off, came here early, so I think that kind of helped with the transition of trying to figure out everything that I need to do before I can step foot on the golf course.”
The 25-year-old picked up two more wins on the tour after her Chevron title but has struggled to make much of an impact in 2023, most recently finishing tied for 25th at the DIO Implant LA Open.
But the Colorado native told reporters she has learned to harness her inner calm after struggling with feelings of panic a year ago.
“I was struggling hitting the ball, so I had a little bit of a panic. I would say I’m a little bit more relaxed this year. Feel like I have my feet under me and ready to go,” Kupcho added.
The Chevron Championship kicks off on Thursday.