This Little Birdie
A year after joining the LPGA Tour, Allisen Corpuz gets into the swing of things by soaring to the U.S. Women’s Open title.
Professional golfer Allisen Corpuz experienced a lot of firsts upon capturing the 78th annual U.S. Women’s Open back in July.
First-ever LPGA win.
First American to win the title since 2016 (when Brittany Lang was triumphant at Cordevalle).
First U.S. Women’s Open champion at the iconic Pebble Beach (which also hosted the tournament for the first time).
First American in two decades to win her first LPGA title at the U.S. Women’s Open.
Plus, she took home $2 million to boot — the largest purse handed out to an LPGA champion to date.
But ask the Punahou School alum about her experience last summer, and it all goes back to what matters most.
“I had my family and friends with me there that week, and to get my first win in front of them was awesome,” says Corpuz. “It still feels like it’s not real some days, but it’s been awesome.”
She climbed her way up the rankings in the first round and managed to stay within the top three for most of round two. In the third round, she remained neck and neck with Japan’s Nasa Hataoka, but once the final round came, Corpuz — who sunk back-to-back birdies during the tourney — began her slow and steady ascent to the top, ultimately finishing three strokes ahead of England’s Charley Hull and South Korea’s Jiyai Shin.
“I had known that it was very possible for me to win coming down the stretch, as long as I didn’t make any big mistakes,” recalls the 25-year-old Corpuz. “Seeing the final putt go in was a lot of relief.”
After she hit such momentous milestones this summer, you’d think Corpuz would take a break and revel in her win. But not this hardworking professional. Once Dec. 31 rolls around, she will have played in 25 tournaments (she participated in 23 last year), and most recently finished her last event of 2023, the Grant Thornton Invitational.
Although golf is now a full-time job for Corpuz, growing up, it was simply an enjoyable pastime with dad Marcos and brother George. At only 4 years old, she was almost always the youngest on the course, and likely also the one having the best time.
“I’ve always had so much fun playing golf, especially junior golf,” recalls Corpuz, who celebrated a successful rookie season in 2022. “I got to meet other girls my age and travel; I was able to go to a lot of new places, and my mom (May) travels with me full time.
“I feel like golf has given me so many opportunities.”
While her experience at Pebble Beach in California was one for the books, she’s quite fond of Augusta National in Georgia, where she played in the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur in 2019 — another milestone, as it marked the first time Augusta hosted women on the course.
“There’s so much history there and it’s beautiful,” says Corpuz of the home of the Masters. “I grew up watching the Masters on TV and to be able to play at that event was awesome.”
Back home, the Kapolei native has a soft spot for both Pearl Country Club and Hawai‘i Prince Golf Club, where she played growing up, and more recently competed in LPGA events at Ko ‘Olina Golf Club and Hoakalei Country Club.
But it might be a while before Corpuz is back in the islands for an extended period. She’s already prepping for 2024, when she hopes to qualify for the Summer Olympics in Paris (she’s well on her way with her current ranking of 13), as well as the Solheim Cup in the fall.
With such a busy year-round LPGA schedule that’ll have her playing in a couple dozen tournaments throughout the year, Corpuz makes an effort to sanctify her off-season Saturdays as rest days. But the remaining six days of her “break” are far from vacant. She makes sure to see her swing coach, work out a few times a week and practice a few hours each day (again, except for Saturdays) — and this is on top of playing once or twice a week to keep her skills sharp.
Despite all the around-theclock commitment, Corpuz is still having the time of her life.
“It’s been way more fun than I expected,” she says. “I’m really lucky to have gotten off to a good start and get the win this year.”