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The Chevron Championship 2024 Preview, Picks & Analysis

By: | Mon 15 Apr 2024

All eyes will be on Nelly Korda at The Chevron Championship, the first women’s major of the season, at The Woodlands in Texas. The American world number one is enjoying an extraordinary run of form, having won four tournaments on the bounce.

And she has done so with the minimum of fuss so do not rule out her chances. 

Korda began her professional career in 2016 on the Symmetra Tour, winning her first pro event at the Sioux Falls Challenge after shooting rounds of 68-67-69-66. She ended the season ninth on the money list, thus earning her LPGA Tour card for 2017. He first win came at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship in October 2018. It made her and her sisterJessica the third pair of sisters to win in LPGA history.

She won the Women’s Australian Open in February 2019. In doing so, she completed a "Family Slam" in Australia. Her father, Petr, won the 1998 Australian Open singles in tennis. Her older sister, Jessica, won the Women's Australian Open in 2012 and her younger brother, Sebastian, won the 2018 Australian Open junior boys in tennis.

On February 28, 2021, Korda won the Gainbridge LPGA at Lake Nona Golf and Country Club in Orlando, Florida. In June she claimed the Meijer LPGA in Michigan. She shot a career best 62 in the third round.

Later the same month she landed her first major, the KPMG, and climbed to the top of the world rankings.

Nelly Korda

In August 2021 in the second round of the Olympic Games golf tournament Korda stood on the 18th tee at -11 for her round. A birdie would have given her a round of 59 but she double bogeyed the hole for a 62. She went on to win the gold medal. In November, Korda won the Pelican Women’s Championship for her fourth LPGA victory of 2021. She was the first American to win four times in an LPGA Tour season since Stacy Lewis in 2012.  

In March 2022, Korda announced  that she had a blood clot in her arm, so she would not compete in the Chevron Championship, the year's first major. She was sidelined until the US Women’s Open.

She has won 12 times on the LPGA Tour and tops this season’s money list with earnings of $1.25m.

Last year, Lilia Vu finished with two birdies, then birdied the first playoff hole to beat Angel Yin in a dramatic finish. Yin’s second shot came up short and left and splashed into the pond guarding the par-five 18th hole. Vu, after a huge tee shot, hit her approach safely just over the green. She went with putter from off the green and came up well short, but she converted the birdie from about 10 feet for the victory.

"I knew on that last putt, all I had to do was just do my routine, read the putt how I usually do, and just hit this putt because I’ve hit that putt a million times," Vu said. "And I knew I could make it."

The Californian won for the second time on the LPGA Tour and took a celebratory leap into the pond, a tradition borrowed from this tournament’s former venue at Mission Hills in the California desert. Vu closed with a 4-under 68 for a four-day total of 10-under 278, then waited as other contenders - including Yin - faltered. But Yin, after bogeys on the 16th and 17th holes, birdied the 18th to force the playoff. "Obviously in the playoff hole, I just didn’t hit a good shot,” Yin said. “It just kind of spoke a lot about today."

Vu had a stellar year in 2024, also winning the Women’s Open and topping the world rankings and she will be looking to make life difficult for Korda this week.

Charley Hull, Leona Maguire and Celine Boutier will all be flying the flag for Europe. Hull finished second at the US Women’s Open last year and really should have landed her first major by now. She has embraced a new fitness regime this season and it will be interesting to see if she can finally make the big breakthrough. Boutier had a magical run in 2023 and will be hoping to recapture that form, while Maguire has no weaknesses and will surely be there or thereabouts. She was runner-up to Korda at the recent T-mobile Matchplay.

Angela Stanford has received an exemption to play this week. Stanford, a member of the LPGA Tour since 2001, will compete in her 98th consecutive major championship, the longest active major streak in professional golf.

Stanford, 46, has seven LPGA Tour victories to her credit, earning her first major title at the 2018 Evian Championship in her 18th season on tour. Her major streak began with the 2002 Women’s PGA Championship and includes making 66 cuts. This will mark Stanford’s 22nd consecutive appearance in The Chevron Championship, dating back to 2003. She tied for third in 2011 and has 10 top-10 finishes at The LPGA’s Major. Stanford is also the reigning Senior LPGA Championship winner, taking the senior major title in her 2023 debut at age 45.

"I’m beyond thrilled to receive this chance to play in The Chevron Championship, right here in my home state of Texas," said Stanford. "When I began my LPGA Tour career in 2001, I couldn’t imagine the places my dream job would take me. Competing in 98 consecutive majors has so much to do with the people around me. I am so thankful to the team at Chevron for this opportunity to compete at The Club at Carlton Woods."

Stanford has competed in six Solheim Cups, representing the USA in 2003, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015. In 2015, she earned the winning point for the U.S. Team with her 2-and-1 victory over Suzann Pettersen. Stanford served as an assistant captain for the 2023 U.S. Team and will again be on Captain Stacy Lewis’ leadership team in 2024. Off the course, the Angela Stanford Foundation provides scholarships to kids in her community whose families have been affected by cancer.

Tournament Winners:

It was won in 2015 by Brittany Lincicome, in 2016 by Lydia Ko, in 2017 by Ryu So-yeon, in 2018 by Pernilla Lindberg, in 2019 by Ko Jin-young, in 2020 by Mirim Lee, in 2021 by Patty Tavatankit, in 2022 by Jennifer Kupcho and last year by Lilia Vu.

The Course:

The Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course at Carlton Woods opened in 2001 to rave reviews and high acclaim. Designed by Nicklaus, the generous teeing grounds and landing areas wind among lakes and parklands, and the greens feature plenty of undulations and bunkers. It is a par 72 and can be stretched to 7,650 yards.

Form Guide:

Nelly Korda is in the form of her life after four consecutive victories on the LPGA Tour and will start the season’s first major as a red-hot favourite.

To Win:

Nelly Korda. Looking unbeatable

Each Way:

Charley Hull. It’s about time she ended her major drought

Each Way:

Lilia Vu. Looking to follow a stellar year

Five to Follow:

Nelly Korda. Brilliant ball striker

Charley Hull. Mercurial talent

Lilia Vu. Wondrous short game

Leona Maguire. Hugely impressive Irish golfer

Celine Boutier. At her best she takes some beating

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Tags: lpga LET Golf Previews daily picks

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