Last week, Kaitlyn Papp (Austin, Texas) made her professional debut at the 76th U.S. Women’s Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, CA. She carded 76-77 in the first two rounds and missed the cut by four strokes. Despite not playing in the weekend, Papp shared a few positive takeaways from the week.
“Last week was great. We got to play the Olympic Club which was in spectacular condition and is a really historical golf course. It was a great experience being able to play such a challenging course with the best field in women’s golf and now I am excited to be here in Michigan,” said Papp. “I was fortunate enough to be paired with Stacy Lewis Thursday and Friday which is pretty cool because a lot of people said I look like her growing up in junior golf.”
Prior to the LPGA Tour’s second major of the year, Papp was finishing her degree and competing for the University of Texas Longhorns. In her freshman year, she was named not only Big-12 Freshman of the Year, but also 2018 Player of the Year. The three-time Arnold Palmer Cup team member competed in the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur,and was named a WGCA All-American (2018 Second Team, 2019 First Team, 2020 First Team). This week she is joined by fellow Longhorn alums Sophie Schubert and Maddie Luitwieler.
“One of the tournaments that stands out to me is when we played in the Bahamas,” said Papp. “We had a really great team performance. I believe four of us finished in the top-5 and it was just a great trip. Between the beach and the course and celebrating that moment with my teammates, it was a great trip.”
Papp joins the field this week in Harris, MI thanks to an invite from Island Resort and Casino. Grateful for this week’s opportunity she reflected on her junior career which has helped her get to this point in her golfing journey. As a member of the 2017 Junior Solheim Cup Team which claimed the fifth-consecutive win for the United States, Papp contributed two points to the team's 14.5 total team points. To add to her decorated junior career, the 22-year-old was a four-time Rolex Junior All-American, a 2016 USA Women's Amateur Four-Ball Championship winner and three-time AJGA Wyndham Cup participant, leading her team to victory each time.
“All of the team events stand out to me. Whether it was Wyndham Cup, Junior Solheim or Junior Ryder Cup. We got to make lasting friendships and represent our countries or our respective side of the country,” said Papp. “Anytime you get to represent your country is great. I grew up with my dad in the Navy, so I feel like I have a really great American pride and respect for our country. So anytime you get to represent the colors, stars and stripes it a great honor.”