July 16, 2022
Midland, Michigan, USA
Midland Country Club
THE MODERATOR: Welcome inside the virtual media center here at the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational. I am pleased to be joined by these two champions, Jennifer Kupcho and Lizette Salas.
Lizette, I want to start with you. This is your first victory since 2014. To do it alongside a friend like Jennifer, I just want to know some of the thoughts, feelings, emotions that you have at this moment.
LIZETTE SALAS: Yeah, it's been a long time. I couldn't have done it without her. You know, she's a great competitor, a great friend, and an mazing partner on the golf course.
We played some amazing golf this week. My job was -- or my goal was to play well for her. We showcased how our games can complement each other.
But for myself to finally get another win after eight years, it's been a long journey, lots of up and downs, and just really happy. It's a great early birthday present for me, so thank you. (Laughing).
Q. Jen, this is your third victory of 2022, your second in Michigan. Just overall what was today like for the both of you and this overall experience as a team event?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: I mean, it was amazing to be alongside Lizette. I think I was a little nervous coming into today just because I didn't want to let her down. I'm sure she probably felt the same way.
LIZETTE SALAS: Me too.
JENNIFER KUPCHO: In the end I think it really calmed us down to have each other by our sides, so to come out on top, it's really amazing next to Lizette.
Q. Before we open it up, again, just taking a look at the scorecard today, when did Lizette, the two of you finally feel the rhythm, the clicking of this final round of best ball?
LIZETTE SALAS: Probably once we made the turn. I feel like it's towards the end of the front nine is really when we start kicking it into gear. We had some great looks at the beginning, but we stayed patient and we stayed focused.
Yeah, like she said, I was a little nervous coming into today because I didn't want to let her down. We showed each other that we got -- have each other's backs, and yeah, we got it done at the middle of the round and finally could breathe coming down the stretch a little bit.
Q. Jennifer, when did it soak in that the two of you had amassed the lead? Did you get to soak in 18 when you heard the walk-up song and got to cross the bridge? Did you really soak it?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: Yeah, I mean, obviously it was done a little bit sooner than 18, but I kind of just always tell myself to not -- I kind of just always tell myself not to think too far ahead of myself.
So yeah, on 18 is really when I let it sink in to be able to walk up with our walk-up song and alongside her.
Q. Do you think you will ever be teamed with anyone else in the Solheim Cup ever again, or do you think it will be you two forever?
LIZETTE SALAS: We're going to do our best to keep this duo going, but I have to make the team first.
All things said, it's going to take a lot for us to be separated when it comes to team events going forward, but yeah, I think I told her walking up 18, I think we're undefeated still. (Laughing).
Yeah, this is a great partnership. We saw Captain Stacy Lewis on the bridge going to 18, and I think she was pretty happy.
JENNIFER KUPCHO: I did not see her. Was she actually there?
LIZETTE SALAS: Yes.
Q. Your last win, 2014, did you remember what that felt like, or was it -- it had been eight years. How did that feel making that walk again?
LIZETTE SALAS: Yeah, just to walk up 18, and this one is a little more special to walk with your partner. We grinded for four days to get the job done, and like I said earlier, I couldn't have done it without her. I hope she's proud of me that I contributed. I did my job.
But, yeah, to feel those feelings again like I did in 2014, and, yeah, I have come up close several times, but to finally get it done here in Michigan at a team event, it's pretty special.
Q. You two said that you wanted to come into today and play boring golf, but how boring was your game today? Let's rate it from watching paint dry to a car ride to a car ride with no music. How would you rate it?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: It was not boring. Yeah, I think in general, yeah, I would say it was fairways and greens most of the time and gave ourselves two good putts at birdie I feel like most of the time.
So making a lot of birdies isn't boring, but we were playing boring golf.
LIZETTE SALAS: Yeah, I think it started off with no music in the car, and then towards the end we were just head-banging in the -- just like really enjoying the moment and listening to our favorite tunes.
Yeah, just probably -- yeah. It was fun coming down the stretch knowing we had a pretty big lead and it was said and done.
Q. Speaking of music, your walk-up song, what went into that decision to walk up 18?
LIZETTE SALAS: It's all her.
JENNIFER KUPCHO: We actually don't like really the same music at all.
LIZETTE SALAS: Yeah. She wanted country. I said no.
JENNIFER KUPCHO: During our practice round I was, like, okay, how about this song? It's actually my husband's favorite song, so I played it for her, and she was like, yeah, that's perfect. Good.
LIZETTE SALAS: Post Malone came through. That was it.
JENNIFER KUPCHO: That was that.
Q. We talked a little bit earlier, as Jen said, the nerves that she felt going into today to not let you down, but at the same time, were there any nerves as you got to the first tee this morning? I know you had that four-shot lead, but at the same time anything is possible.
LIZETTE SALAS: Yeah, I was really comfortable going into the first tee. Having her by my side, walking together just really felt comfortable, and it just kind of took me back to Toledo and how we have each other's backs.
Whatever happens happens, but we're going to do whatever it takes to not let go of this lead. I'm just so proud of her and what we did together. Yeah, I was a little nervous going into today but quickly went away, and once those birdies started rolling in, I started feeling a little calm.
Q. Jen, we talked about it earlier, but three wins so far this season. It seems like since your win at Chevron, the beast is unleashed. For you, how comfortable are you feeling in your game at this moment? And for both of you, what does a win like this do to your confidence heading into the summer swing?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: I think after I got my first win I felt a lot more confident in my game. It's so hard to win out here, so to know that I could do it, I think that kind of helped my confidence.
And then to get the second win against a really stacked leaderboard and a playoff at Meijer, it made me all that more comfortable.
I think that's kind of how amateur golf was for me. I started out really slow, and then I was able to win and kind of just went off on it.
It is a lot of fun to win and I am a very competitive person, so yeah.
Q. Jennifer, the last touring pro that won two tournaments in the same year was 2012, Roger Chapman. He thought after he won two tournaments that he was considering buying land here in Michigan. What do you think? (Laughing)
JENNIFER KUPCHO: Probably not. (Laughing). But that's funny.
Q. And Lizette, you seem like you have a lot of energy and you're fun. Does that contribute to your overall demeanor when you are playing?
LIZETTE SALAS: Yeah, I think now this is my 11th season on Tour. Why not have some fun? Why not smile? Yes, it is a job, but I want to enjoy myself. I want to enjoy the rest of the time I have out here with the girls, with Jennifer.
So yeah, it is -- smiling is what I do or I want to do, and this win was just huge for my confidence and going forward.
Yeah, the dimples are out. (Laughing).
Q. Well, we enjoy your energy out there. You can feel it.
LIZETTE SALAS: Thanks.
Q. This event is one that really gives back to the community, all the nonprofits, and you guys are team YOC for Team Youth on Course. You have it on your visor there. Can you talk about what that is, what that group is, and how important it is for you to be able to support that whenever you can?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: Go ahead.
LIZETTE SALAS: We're both ambassadors for Youth on Course, and it's an organization that really creates awareness to, you know, your inner community kids, the kids that you don't necessarily see at a country club.
This organization gets access to really prestigious golf courses for only $5 for these kids. They create internships. They have a caddie program.
This is something that is close to my heart. I wasn't a country club kid. To give these kids access to just get out there and play and do what they love, it was a no-brainer to name our team that.
Yeah, we're Team Youth on Course.
Q. Just to follow up, do you know each other well or play a lot with each other before you were partnered down in Toledo for the first time?
LIZETTE SALAS: Nope.
JENNIFER KUPCHO: We didn't know each other at all. We got put in a pod together there with four people, and kind of from there that's where our friendship started.
Q. Stacy said earlier that when you walked off the course after the first match you told the captains don't --
LIZETTE SALAS: Don't separate us.
JENNIFER KUPCHO: That's true.
LIZETTE SALAS: I said, do not separate us.
THE MODERATOR: Stacy mentioned that actually today that that comment was made.
LIZETTE SALAS: They asked and we said, no, do not separate us.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you both for coming in and spending time with us. Congratulations.
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