PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — You simply could not have predicted how Sunday’s outcome would be as the day moved along at the Meijer LPGA Classic.

So that’s why when it wasn’t pretty for Jennifer Kupcho, who came into the day in second place trailing the defending champ Nelly Korda by a stroke, she set a simple goal in her mind: if she got to -20, she could win.

While that would’ve held to be true, it didn’t happen. She did however grind through two playoff rounds on the 18th hole, watch her opponent Leona Maguire rim out a put that would have sent them to a third playoff hole, and suddenly win her second LPGA victory.

The golf was shaky at times but it didn’t take from the sweet feeling of victory for Kupcho.

“I thought (Maguire) was going to make the putt,” Kupcho said. “But I thought to myself, ‘That’s not a gimme because you just were shaky and missed essentially the same putt a hole ago. She went to Duke, I went to Wake Forest, so playing with her so much … she doesn’t miss those.’

“I think this win is better than the first personally, I had a big lead when I got to the final round at Chevron, to come out of this with a leaderboard packed with ranked players is very special to me.”

It was a day full of changes at Blythefield Country Club. At one point Lexi Thompson had regained the lead, then Maguire became tied for the lead, Korda fell in and out of first place. But in the end, it was who finished her round at just -1 winning the playoff holes to earn the victory in front of a packed 18th green.

“The fans were amazing and really get you pumped up,” Kupcho said. “They were so good here all weekend.”

Kupcho’s play was up and down throughout the day, but much like her round Friday, she started slow before heating up.

A double bogey on three and a bogey on six made her plus-three early in the afternoon. Dropping all the way to -14 for the weekend, it began to look like she couldn’t keep pace with the players at the top of the standings.

Instead, she came back and caught fire.

On the par 5 at hole eight, Kupcho eagled and followed with a birdie on hole nine. Her tee time partner Korda bogied on hole nine, making them both suddenly tied at -16.

For Kupcho, this was when the round started to turn around in her mind.

“I saw it at ShopRite a couple years ago, two years ago, where I made double, I think it was eight, and I kind of just thought I was out of it the whole time and I ended up not being out of it,” Kupcho said. “That’s definitely what I would’ve thought in the past. That was kind of the turning point, being able to tell myself, ‘Hey, you’re not out of this. … Let’s go.'”

It indeed would be the turning point on the afternoon for the lead. With another pair of birdies on the back nine, Kupcho found herself with a one-stroke lead at -19 through 15 holes. 

But then came a bogie on 16. And on 18 to finish it off, she had a tough shot out of the sand, leading to a par while Korda birdied on hole 18. With Maguire already being finished at the same mark, there was a three-way playoff to be had.

That was when Kupcho had the best shot of her weekend, she claimed. On her second shot, she plunked the ball just off the green and watched it slowly roll within 7 feet of the flagstick, setting up a great shot at birdie. But instead, she missed the putt and Maguire tied her again to make another playoff round happen.

It was a putt she normally doesn’t miss.

“That just comes with a lot of nerves,” she said, laughing at the press conference, already having some champagne from the celebration, “and a lot of shaking.”

In the end, the putt the Maguire would rim out on the following playoff hole would end it all. Maguire started the day seven strokes back of the lead and made an outstanding effort (7-under 65) to be in a position to win the whole thing, it just wasn’t quite enough. It was her second straight runner-up performance at this event.

Sunday was Kupcho’s day, which she knew when she was sprayed with water on the final green moments after winning.

It was well earned, as this is the third playoff in the event’s eight-year history. The Colorado native simply couldn’t wait to call her dad now possessing the trophy on Father’s Day.

“I thought to myself this morning that I should call him, but I kept telling myself, ‘No, we’ll call him after the round with a trophy in my hand,’” Kupcho said. “And I’m excited I can do that now.”

For winning the event, Kupcho earned $375,000, which brings her career mark close to $3 million. It was all done in front of a crowd that should break the event’s attendance record when it’s all counted up.

In the end, shaky or not, Kupcho was a champion for the second time in her career.