Jennifer Kupcho isn’t rushing into anything. The LPGA sophomore will be there when the LPGA restarts its season July 31 in Toledo, Ohio. But as for the two events in Scotland next month – which include the AIG Women’s British Open – she isn’t sure.
Kupcho’s paternal grandmother contracted COVID-19 while in a memory care facility.
“She’s still live and going strong,” said a relieved Kupcho.
But the family is understandably cautious. Kupcho wants to make sure she’s comfortable.
Georgia Hall and Charley Hull won’t be coming over for Toledo. The English pair will instead carry on at the Rose Ladies Series and pick up the tour at the Aberdeen Stanford Investments Ladies Scottish Open.
Bronte Law and Gemma Dryburgh, however, will come over from England and quarantine in the U.S. for two weeks before playing in Ohio and then head back over to Scotland.
Inbee Park, So Yeon Ryu and M.J. Hur are among the South Koreans who plan to skip Toledo. They haven’t decided about Scotland. After the Evian Championship was canceled, Park moved the event she hosts, the Orangelife Championship Trophy, to that week. But then the Marathon Classic was moved into Evian’s old spot. Park, Ryu and Hur are among the Korean LPGA players who will compete at Orangelife.
Nasa Hataoka, the top player from Japan currently ranked No. 4 in the world, recently competed in a Japan LPGA event. She too has yet to decide about her U.S. plans.
The field for the new LPGA Drive On Championship closes on Friday, and it will be interesting to see who decided to make the trip.
Cristie Kerr recently got tested for COVID-19 and came back negative. She plans to compete in the two events in Ohio and Scotland.
Cheyenne Knight was shocked to find out that she’s not in the field for the Women’s British Open. She’ll play in both Toledo events and then head overseas. She’s hopeful that she can play her way into the field at Royal Troon. Pre-qualifying and final qualifying events for the WBO have been canceled due to health and safety concerns. The top 5 players not already exempt from the Marathon Classic will be in the field as well as the top 3 players, not already qualified, from the Ladies Scottish Open.
No family is allowed at the course for the Drive On Championship. They’re not allowed to make the trip to Scotland either as athletes have been given special exemptions to get into the country.
“I finally have to leave the nest,” said Knight, who typically travels with her mom.
Catriona Matthew, who lives about 10 minutes from the host club for the Ladies Scottish Open, said her views on whether or not Scotland would be able to host the two events changed by the day.
“People here really adhered to the rules and you basically didn’t go anywhere and see anyone for three months,” Matthew said. “We’re just gradually coming out of it now.”
So gradually, in fact, that Matthew, who will compete in both Scottish events, has yet to practice on the range.
“I could book a slot for 45 minutes,” she said.
She does, however, play at several clubs in the area each week, including her own, North Berwick. Next week her home club will start allowing visitors. Foursomes are still restricted to people from two different households.
Matthew, who will once again captain Team Europe at the 2021 Solheim Cup, was supposed to come over in September for a look at Inverness Club for a one-year out event. Instead she’s left scouting the course on TV as the LPGA restarts its season at Inverness for the Drive On tournament later this month.
In early June, Kupcho won her first professional title at the Colorado Women’s Open – her home state. She was allowed two spectators to come out and watch and her both her parents were there.
Who would’ve thought that the next time she wins, the gallery might be even smaller.