March 5, 2021
Ocala, Florida, USA
Q. Jennifer Kupcho, also two opening rounds of 67, 10-under par, tied for the lead currently as we speak. The migraine set in at almost the same in the round where it did at Augusta National Women's Amateur how are you feeling today and how much did it affect you?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: I'm feeling a lot better today. I would say yesterday was pretty rough. Yeah, the whole back nine I just pretty much wanted to get off the golf course and go lay down, and pretty much felt that way the rest of the day probably until like 5:00.
So, yeah, it was definitely a rough day, but was able to get through it well so that was helpful.
Q. Still in search of your first win in a very brief young professional career, a win many think will have many following as well. What is your mindset when you get in contention like this heading into the weekend?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: Yeah, I've been in contention before out here. Just go out and relax and have fun. I think especially with my new caddie this year we do a good job of having fun and relaxing, so I think it'll be a fun weekend and I'm just going to go out and play my best.
I mean, you can get bad bounces and bad putts -- bad bounces on putts out here, so you have to be really patient and I think that's going to be key.
Q. It can't be lost on you the poetry that would be there winning here for your first time because of the tribute holes they have to Augusta National's iconic holes. Is that something that crosses your mind as you are out there playing?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: Not really. Yeah, they are very similar and the look is definitely very similar, but I think I'm more nervous playing them than I was back then actually.
Q. Why is that?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: I don't know. It's just a little bit different feeling. Yeah, I don't know. I'm definitely more nervous though.
JENNIFER KUPCHO: I think when I play well I actually hit the ball better. I think my ball-striking is more on and I'm definitely more focused about hitting my spot when I'm going into the greens. That's definitely key out here, too. The greens are pretty tricky if you're in the wrong position. So it's really important.
Q. If and when you ever start to feel nervous when you're in contention, what do you tell yourself? How do you calm yourself? How do you react?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: I kind of just address it and know that I'm in a position to be it contention and, yeah, I'm going to be nervous, like everyone is nervous when they're trying to win, even the people that have been out here for years.
Just thinking about it and realizing that and that usually calms me down.
Q. When do you ultimately get that first win, whether it be this week or soon, who will be your first phone call?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: Probably my parents. Yeah, they have been with me every step of the way, always encouraging me and pushing me to get better, so that will for sure be my first one.
Q. We saw Annika play last week and make the cut, and then of course 57 year old Laura Davies makes the cut here, people you had looked up to from a very young age. How much do the people who come before you mean to your generation of golfer for the foundation they've laid on the LPGA?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: I think a lot. I mean, they set the way for all of us, and, I mean, we're still setting the way for so many more young girls and even people just picking up a golf club.
I think that's the biggest thing right now is getting more young girls into it. So I think that's the biggest thing is thinking, Oh, I did that so now I want to try and influence others.
Q. When you watch Laura Davies play, what are your thoughts. She's still competing and she's 57.
JENNIFER KUPCHO: Yeah, I mean, she's out here grinding it out playing well, so it's exciting to see and exciting to have her out here with us for sure.
Q. Will you still be playing at 57?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: Probably not. (Laughter.) No, I think I'll be done by then.
Q. Welcome back to the second round of the LPGA Drive On Championship presented by Volvik. We're here with Jennifer Kupcho, the second round leader at 10-under. You had a 5-under 67 today. Take us through the round.
JENNIFER KUPCHO: Yeah, I started on the back nine today. Kind of the same as yesterday. No migraine. But playing-wise didn't really play the back nine super well. Has a lot of water on it so I think I was really just trying to hit a lot of greens and give myself good chances, which I did. I just didn't make anything.
And then I turned onto the front nine and started giving myself some closer chances and they started falling.
Q. You mentioned the migraine yesterday. When we saw you looked pretty miserable. Walk us through the last 24 hours.
JENNIFER KUPCHO: Yeah, yesterday on the back nine it just kind of kicked in on 12 and was pretty blurry the whole rest of the way and continued also on 18. Even when I got here into media was still blurry.
So was really nauseous out on the course and really just wanted to get off the course. Yeah, once I got home I just kind of laid down and relaxed the rest of the day. It hurt definitely a lot last night and even when I woke up this morning, but I was just able to relax. Very thankful that I had morning/afternoon for sure.
Q. Is it one of those things that comes on suddenly and leaves just as suddenly?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: No. I would say it definitely sticks around for at least 30 minutes and the pain longer than that.
Q. Okay. Most of the players talked about how difficult it is to get the ball close because of the firmness of the greens.
JENNIFER KUPCHO: Yep.
Q. You're longer than most. Do you feel like you have more opportunities because you're hitting shorter clubs?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: I think I have more opportunities, but with that comes also you have to hit it in the correct place on the green. I mean, I've thought I've landed mine in a couple perfect spots, and, I mean, even on the last hole I hit mine in a perfect spot and ended up 40 feet long of the pin. Stacy landed hers right next to the pin where I thought it would go long and she ended up five feet.
Honestly, it's a lot of different luck involved I think. But I think my length helps on the par-5s for sure.
Q. How do you stay patient when you see things like that, a wedge releases 20 feet and then someone else hits it tight?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: I think I've worked on it a lot this off-season honestly, staying patient and staying calm. I kind of just -- I can let myself get angry and I talk about it or vent it off to my caddie for less than 30 seconds, and then at that point it's over and I have to go hit the next shot.
I've worked on that and it seems to be helping a lot, especially the last two weeks.
Q. So on a scale of one to ten, how bad did it hurt today and how bad did it hurt today?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: Yesterday was a ten and today, today was probably like a two or three. Definitely is less. It hurt when I was on the range but it kind of dialed down throughout the round.
Q. And you mentioned numbness yesterday. Did you feel any of that today and is that like unusual?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: Yes, it is very unusual. I felt it just yesterday on 18. I don't really know. I think the whole thing was kind of caused by a nerve in my neck being tight and everything. And I did not feel that today, no, because I got some treatment and I think it's a little bit looser.
Q. Obviously your shot on 13 is something no one will ever forget. At Augusta. What's been your strategy on 12 here this week, how have you played it?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: I've laid up both times actually. I didn't really hit my drive to be able to make it reachable. It's kind of hard with my length to go for it this week. The area around the greens and the greens being so hard it's really hard to justify chipping when I could hit a wedge shot.
So that's kind of been what I've done is laid up.
Q. Hoping they move the tee up?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: Yeah, possibly. I think if I have an iron in my hand I'll definitely go for it because just I have better control with that. But hitting a wood in, there is no saying where that hardness of the green will take it.
Q. Morgan Pressel yesterday made her debut as an analyst. She mentioned on air that she was your big sister in your rookie year. How do you think she's doing on the broadcast if you've seen any of it, and what was the one thing she told you when she was your big sister what may have helped?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: I don't know one thing that she's told me, but she's definitely helped me through a lot. I mean, even now. I've definitely had a rough start being on the road a lot. I'm not used to that. I'm definitely a homebody. So she's definitely been there for that and she's been a great friend on tour. I didn't really watch a whole lot of the broadcast. I know my parents pretty much tuned into everything and they said she did a great job, so I'll take their word on that because she definitely judge broadcasters for sure.
Q. What is where you favorites replica hole out here?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: I don't really have a favorite. I mean, all the replica holes are pretty cool just because it's interesting to see -- like you saw all the pictures and then you're there in person and it looks very similar.
Q. We know you played Augusta. Have you played any of the other courses that are replicated out here?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: I've played the Postage Stamp but that's it.
Q. One more. What's the best part of your game right now?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: My driving, yeah.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports