LPGA rookie Allisen Corpuz has made a statement on and off the course

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NAPLES, Fla. — She might not be the most overpowering voice in the room, but when Allisen Corpuz speaks, people listen. And despite her discomfort with public speaking, Corpuz had everyone’s full attention when she took the dais at the Women’s Leadership Summit at the Pelican Women’s Championship earlier this month. She also has been making statements on the course. Later that week, she vaulted to the top of the leaderboard after consecutive 65s.

“I had a bunch of big names behind me,” she said. “I was really lucky to be in that position.”

Names like Nelly Korda and Lexi Thompson. That would be an intimidating scenario for any rookie, but Corpuz put on a ball-striking display as she held on to finish T-3 despite a cold putter, her second top-five finish of the season.

This week she has blended in seamlessly at the limited-field CME Group Tour Championship at Tiburón Golf Club.

“You always knew her name was gonna be at the top of a leaderboard,” says Addie Baggarly, a friend and former competitor. “She could have made the jump at any point, but I know for a fact she would never regret (staying in school).” Baggarly, now an assistant coach at SMU, sees Corpuz as being a central figure in the next generation.

As a 10-year-old, Allisen Corpuz was featured in The New York Times under the headline “Golf’s Next Wave,” after she became the youngest player to qualify for a USGA event, at the 2008 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship. After a stellar junior career, Allisen Corpuz left her native Hawaii for USC, where she won three times. Before embarking on her professional career, she went undefeated to help the U.S. capture the 2021 Curtis Cup.

Stew Burke took the Tulane head coaching job midway through Allisen Corpuz’s time at USC, but she still recruited the former Trojans assistant to carry her bag while she battled her way to earning her LPGA Tour card. “It was always something I expected out of Allisen,” he says. “She should be the poster child for the NCAA—she got her MBA, tour card, and is now successful on tour.”

Corpuz isn’t the first newcomer to find early success on the LPGA Tour. But she possesses something very different from her peers—and this summer, she showed it. Days after the reversal of Roe vs. Wade, the LPGA issued a bland statement tiptoeing around the issue, leaving out the word “abortion.” Multiple players shared empowering messages, but none were as personal and expressive as Corpuz’s. “Women are not just vessels to carry children,” she wrote. “We have our own hopes and dreams and we should have the right to decide when we get to achieve them.” Her nine-page Instagram slideshow opened with an anecdote about a miscarriage her mother had experienced. She shared statistics and closed with her disappointment in the LPGA’s response. “It read as a statement of concern that refused to take the stance to empower women, which was disheartening to see,” Corpuz wrote. “Think of what a powerful message the LPGA could send by supporting a woman’s right to her own body unequivocally.”

Great play can certainly attract attention. But it takes courage for a rookie to edify an entire league about a hot-button issue.

Corpuz, 24, remains strong in her convictions. “Women’s rights means a lot to me, especially now,” she says. Conversation about the wage gap is no longer taboo around the tour, so Corpuz hopes to keep the talk alive. “That’s kind of what I want to use my platform for,” she says.

Any first job out of college is tough. When Corpuz earned her LPGA card nearly a year ago, her primary concern was keeping it. She easliy did that, finishing T-17 at the LPGA finale. Now she has grander ambitions. Some golfers just want to save par; Corpuz wants to save the world.

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