ANDALUCIA, Spain — She’s fairly quiet, unassumingly going about her business on the golf course, and possessing a calm, cool and collected personality that wouldn’t seem to lend itself to the emotionality of a Solheim Cup. But be warned: don’t turn your back on Allisen Corpuz at Finca Cortesin.
While this week marks the first time that Corpuz will represent the United States as a professional, she has plenty of experience going to battle for the Red, White and Blue, having done so multiple times as an amateur. The 25-year-old played in two Arnold Palmer Cups in 2020 and 2021, the latter of which the Americans won, and was arguably one of the heroes of the 2021 Curtis Cup, going undefeated with a 3-0-0 record to contribute three valuable points to the USA’s 12 1/2 to 7 1/2 victory.
Recording 10 top-20 finishes as a 2022 rookie, it looked like Corpuz’s first LPGA Tour win would come sooner rather than later, but the University of Southern California alum had to wait maybe a little longer than she would’ve liked to finally break through with a professional victory. Kicking off her sophomore season with the Asian swing, Corpuz finished in a tie for third at the HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore and grabbed another top 10 at The Chevron Championship, tying for fourth after carding back-to-back 67s in the second and third rounds at the Club at Carlton Woods and just barely slipping away on Sunday.
It looked like it was going to be a lackluster summer for Corpuz until she found some form at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, tying for 15th around a tricky Lower Course at Baltusrol Golf Club, a good indicator for what was to come in the following weeks. The Tour took a week off before the third major of the year, and with no previous history to rely upon at Pebble Beach Golf Links, no one knew who might be hoisting the Harton S. Semple trophy on Sunday.
But Corpuz showed up to play, bringing with her plenty of experience with the gusty, oceanic winds and California golf, and hung on down the stretch despite mounting pressure from Charley Hull, who was making a late run at her first major title. But when the final putts fell on the 18th green at Pebble, it was Corpuz who was in tears, finally breaking through on the LPGA Tour for the very first time.
“The whole day honestly I just had a feeling,” said the U.S. Women’s Open champion. “I made a par putt on two where it kind of sat on the edge for like three seconds and dropped in. After that birdie on 14 was kind of when I was just like, you're playing really well. At this point, it's more about staying in control rather than anyone else catching up. You never know when you're going to win. That was like the fourth or fifth time that I had been in contention and was finally able to finish it off.”
So it wasn’t a surprise to see Corpuz on the first hole on Friday at Finca Cortesin on day one of the Solheim Cup, teeing it up alongside former world No. 1 Nelly Korda in the third foursomes match of the morning. Foursomes appeared to be a perfect format for the 25-year-old who currently ranks 18th on the LPGA Tour in bogey avoidance – she only makes bogey or worse 14.56% of the time – to make her Solheim Cup debut. Corpuz was hoping her ability to make pars would help the U.S. team in their matches and was excited to once again be teeing it up in a team match-play event, something that brings out a ferocity in her that isn’t often her style on the golf course.
“I generally make a lot of pars. Knowing that each hole is its own mini match, I guess I do play a little more aggressive, even if I don't want to,” said Corpuz of what she hoped to contribute to the U.S. team this week. “Being under pressure, I love it. I think it's so much fun going head-to-head with someone. Just really being able to stay calm under pressure and kind of be hitting the same shots as stroke play.”
Corpuz showed no sign of nerves in the first foursomes session of the week, battling alongside Korda to beat Anna Nordqvist and Leona Maguire 1 up and bring home the final point of the morning as the Americans went 4-0 in foursomes for the first time in Solheim Cup history. Speaking to the media after the match, Korda made nothing but glowing remarks about her playing partner, impressed with Corpuz’s ability to show up and out in the big moment.
“For (Allisen) to come out and make some really clutch putts for us it was great to see,” Korda said. “She may be a rookie, but I think she came in clutch today and she doesn't show that at all.”
But a classy Corpuz gave plenty of credit to her partner, as rookies often do. “Nelly put me in great spots all day long,” she said. “It just felt really good to get the job done.”
While she struggled a bit in the afternoon fourball, Corpuz still showed the composure of a storied veteran, tying plenty of holes with the Europeans when her teammate, Jennifer Kupcho, needed some help either maintaining the lead or fending off Emily Kristine Pedersen and Maja Stark, who were doing their best to redeem themselves late Friday evening.
She nearly aced the par-3 17th hole, right after Pedersen almost made her second hole-in-one of the match, tapping in for birdie to keep things tied with one hole to play. Her approach shot into the par-5 18th hole landed about 12 feet from the flag, and with Kupcho failing to get up and down for birdie, it was all on the rookie to make her putt and at the very least tie the Euros, who both had good looks at birdies of their own.
As the crowd quieted and all hearts quickened, Corpuz steadied her hands and locked in her gaze. When the ball tumbled over the edge of the cup, the smile had already started to break across her face as she had successfully secured the half point for the Americans and kept herself undefeated, familiar territory for the cool-as-a-cucumber Corpuz.
“It's always such an honor just to play for your country and the entire team is great as well. It just means a lot to know that I'm out there playing for them,” said the rookie, who earned 1.5 points for the U.S. on Friday. “It's really special that I got to go out in both matches and got the win in and the good halve in the second match.”
And while she may be a rookie, don’t let that fool you. Corpuz has ice in her veins. Watch out for her over the weekend.