Golf

Why Allisen Corpuz nearly had to WD — and one of the BEST lines in response

Allison Corpuz hits out of a bunker on Sunday on the 12th hole at Pebble Beach.
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Allisen Corpuz can crack. You just have to know where to hit. 
Ask about what drew her to golf, for example. That’ll do it.  
“Honestly, I sucked. I just wanted to get better,” she said Sunday night, with the tone in her voice and the expression on her face becoming lighter with each word. 
Of course, there was a follow-up there.
Did she remember anything specifically about ‘sucking?’ 
Corpuz laughed. 
“I mean, no one can hit the ball at first, right? It was like a little driving range, try to get it over the end of the driving range, then try to get it to the first flag so I can fly it, just hitting it a little longer each year. I just had so much fun.”
It was personable. Intimate. There were a couple other moments like it at the U.S. Women’s Open, too, though one stands out perhaps more than the rest. 
You wouldn’t find it on the course, though. No, no. Just an unyielding, stone-cold killer there. Take the approach on the iconic par-5 18th at Pebble Beach, during the final round. Here was the scene. Big ole tree in the middle. Big ole ocean to the left. Big ole prizes — first win, first major, 2 mill — up for grabs. Then one big ole drive. Up three, Corpuz pounded a driver, and she was reaching for her peg before the ball hit the turf. She took a swig from her water bottle. And four strokes later, Corpuz was your winner
Thursday up until that point had been much of the same, too, at this historic championship. Corpuz went 69, 70, 71, 69, the only player among the 156 to break par 72 all four rounds. Tee shot, approach, putt, rinse, repeat. 
“Something that was pretty noticeable throughout the week was your composure and even-keeled approach,” started a reporter afterward. “Has that been something you’ve learned or worked on, or is that how you’ve been even growing up, and what do you attribute that to?”
“Yeah, I think I’ve always had a pretty calm demeanor,” Corpuz said. “Not so much on the inside, but projecting that outwardly. I’ve always been pretty calm. I just like to take a bit of time to think about things. That’s just kind of who I am.” 
“What was going on on the inside today?” a reporter asked. 
“A lot of emotions. Yeah, just a lot of gratitude to be out here.”
Interesting. 
Then there was this. It was a story about the start of the week, told when the tournament was over.
Afterward, tireless NBC on-course reporter Kay Cockerill found Corpuz’s mom, May, and they had this exchange. 
“It was such a big day for her, for Hawaii golf, for your family,” Cockerill began. “Can you summarize what this means to you seeing your daughter shine so brightly out there today?” 
“It’s just unreal. Everything is so unreal,” May Corpuz said. “She was really sick coming into this tournament. And then I said it’s OK to withdraw. And she said, no, no, no, I’m going to try my best. And then look, she won. So I’m grateful for everything.”
Wait.
What?
The champ almost WD’d?? 
A short while later, she made her way to Golf Channel’s Live From desk overlooking the 18th fairway. She talked about the week and the win. She talked about her emotions, or her lack thereof. Then analyst Brandel Chamblee asked about her mom’s revelation. Yeah, she said she was hit with something after the KPMG Women’s PGA two weeks ago. She was still feeling it. 
And she offered these 13 words, with a laugh before “it’s.” 
“I mean, I wouldn’t have withdrawn — it’s the U.S. Open at Pebble.” 
Hell yeah. If the USWO is looking for a poster line, this may be it. If you want to know who she is, here you go. 
Corpuz had cracked. 
You just have to know where to hit. 

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at Golf.com and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach out to him about any of these topics — his stories, his game or his beers — at nick.piastowski@golf.com.
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