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June 6, 2019

Jennifer Kupcho

Galloway, New Jersey

Q. How are you feeling? It's a week after the U.S. Women's Open. You're newly turned professional. What's going through your mind as you start the next kind of set of tournaments?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: Well, it's just been like a whirlwind. So many things going on, and really just -- it's unbelievable all the things that you have to do and all the travel plans and talking to people. It's kind of just a whirlwind and trying to keep focused on golf, as well.

Q. Have you been getting advice from other kind of maybe other 2019 rookies?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: Yeah, Kristen Gillman has been really helpful, just with rules and simple things that me and Maria just don't know. So that's been really helpful.

Q. I know for you and for a lot of college players, it's like a huge kind of turnaround where suddenly a lot of things are thrust on you. What do you say to yourself to keep that positivity going and getting through and focusing more on golf?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: Well, it's been really nice for me. My parents are both traveling with me, so my dad is kind of taking care of a lot of things travel-wise and all that kind of stuff. I'm just kind of out here focusing on golf, but obviously there still is a bunch of stuff that I have to okay and go with.

Q. So now we're here in the Jersey Shore. You kind of beat the heat down there in Charleston and now you're here. What are you most looking forward to here in New Jersey and here on this course?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: I think it's just going to be a great experience. Obviously that was my pro debut, but to play my first LPGA event will be really fun, and I get to play with Cheyenne the first two days, so that'll be fun to play with another Wake Forest grad.

Q. This tournament is -- I don't want to say the start for a lot of people. I know you've officially had your pro debut. But this tournament has a history of being the first for a lot of people like Brooke Henderson and Lexi Thompson. What you think about that, what does that say about this tournament in general or does that motivate you to do better this week possibly?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: I mean, not really. I just am going to go out there and play my best, try not to think about a whole bunch of stuff and just go play my game.

Q. College is golf and life, and pro golf is life. Are you ready for that adjustment?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: Yeah, for sure. Obviously it is a job just like any other job. There's a bunch of requirements and time and everything that goes into it. But I think even with that it'll still be fun. I think it'll be exciting to do it.

Q. Was it weird to get to the end of the Open and be in Charleston and say, now I've got another tournament to go to? That's got to be different than the college life.
JENNIFER KUPCHO: A little bit. There definitely has been some college tournaments where we turn around and go the next week. I've done that before. It'll be interesting later on farther down the road when I'm going to my fourth tournament in a row.

Q. What other events do you have lined up?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: As of right now, next week and then hopefully the KPMG. I'm not completely in yet. I'm like eight spots in, so hopefully I get in there.

Q. Did you graduate?

Q. What was that like just -- I mean, I'm sure -- my son just graduated from college. He wasn't ready to start a job, his full-time job the next day. I'm sure some of your friends are taking the summer off or going here, going there. What's that like sort of separating from them or seeing them take a different path basically?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: Well, most of my friends were on the golf team, so the couple of us that did graduate, we actually are all starting our jobs. Also I didn't go to graduation. I graduated but I didn't go, so I guess it kind of just was a continuation of going and play golf tournaments.

Q. Was it tough to miss graduation?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: A little bit. It's kind of nice, though, because you don't have to sit through that huge thing and all the stuff that comes around with it.

Q. I believe a quote attributed to you was that there's some question about whether you were going to turn pro and finish college, and you said something to the effect that I didn't go three and a half years not to get a degree. Is that pretty accurate?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: Oh, yeah, for sure. Wake Forest is a hard school, so why would I throw out three and a half years of work and everything like that?

Q. Both as a player and as a person, what are the benefits of four years of college?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: I think it really grows your game. I definitely changed a lot as a person. I was very introverted, where now I'm pretty outspoken and outgoing. I think it changed a lot in my personality, and then my golf game improved so much just because you're required to be at practice at this time and do these drills, so it's really structured, and I think that's what I needed to have.

Q. The Wake program is so challenging. There's so many women that play there and complete there. Did that make you a tougher player, too?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: Yeah, I think so. I was being recruited by Colorado schools, so to go to Wake Forest and get to go to those big collegiate events that Colorado schools don't necessarily get invited to, I think that really helped my game.

Q. What do you think of the attention that you and Maria have gotten over the past couple of weeks since April and stuff like that? How are you handling that and what do you think about that in general?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: It's been great. Obviously it has been a while since it's been over and it's still happening. It is hard for us to just say it's okay, we're moving on. We have bigger things to worry about right now. But it is exciting to see it, yeah.

Q. And is it exciting to be in the conversation? The Tour seems to be wanting or desiring this next great player to be in the conversation, to be the it factor that the LPGA Tour might need.
JENNIFER KUPCHO: Yeah, for sure. Obviously there's a lot of pressure that comes with that, and after going to school and having a lot of schoolwork and all that kind of stuff, it is nice to be out here on Tour and be able to focus on my weaknesses and really what I need to do to get my game to that level.

Q. How do you feel the time gap that now appeared from not having to write papers and go to school?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: It's nice now. It obviously gives me more time to work out, relax, rest my body for what I need to do every week.

Q. What did you major in?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: Communications.

Q. And how do your parents figure into all this in terms of what they do and how they support you, the information they feed you? How do they factor in?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: I mean, I don't have an agent currently, so my dad is kind of acting as that person right now, just kind of managing everything because obviously I don't have time to do that. Yeah, I mean, they've always traveled with me. It's nice to not have to pay a caddie, so my dad is caddying for me, so just kind of helping me through the whole thing.

Q. And your dad's name?

Q. And was he a player?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: He was not a player, no. He casually plays.

Q. Does he know golf?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: Yes, for sure, yeah.

Q. He knows your game?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: Yes. He's watched more of my tournaments than anyone.

Q. How many strokes do you have to give him?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: I don't know. A lot.

Q. One a hole or more?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: No, it's not that much. He shoots like 85, 80s.

Q. To have your family on the road with you, does that make you feel better as a person and as a player?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: Yeah, it's nice. Obviously you're still trying to make friends out there, but obviously they're really welcoming to that. If you can't find someone to go to dinner with you, you always have them to fall back on, and I wouldn't say they're my first people to go to for dinner, but it's nice to have someone to fall back to.

Q. And just a minute on how you started playing the game and when you found out that you really enjoyed it and wanted to do something more than recreational?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: Yeah, I started playing when I was five. I played my first tournament when I was seven, and kind of from there I had played recreational sports, so you always got participation trophies, and my first golf tournament I got a trophy, and then my second one I played terrible, and I was like expecting a trophy, and I didn't get one. I think that switch of you actually have to play good in this sport is what really drew me into the game, and that's why I ended up taking it up.

Q. They're not giving any participation trophy here?

Q. Did you and Maria emerge from Augusta National with a deeper bond and friendship having gone through that experience together?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: Yeah, for sure. We're really good friends. I think our friendship definitely got stronger down there, as well.

Q. How was the NCAA championships for you and seeing kind of everyone one last time on the college level before turning pro?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: It was great. I mean, hopefully most of them will turn pro and be out here in a few years. I think probably the hardest part was really saying goodbye to my team. We all got so close this year, and I think that was probably the hardest part of it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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