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Chevron Championship

History maker: Can Lottie Woad upstage Nelly Korda at the Chevron?

Could an amateur win the Chevron Championship? Lottie Woad is in the frame but Nelly Korda is lurking ominously at the halfway stage

 

Could she? An amateur hasn’t won a women’s major since 1967 but Lottie Woad finds herself firmly in the hunt going into the weekend at the Chevron Championship.

Two weeks after winning the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, and now playing in her first major and her first LPGA event, the 20-year-old continues to produce jaw-dropping golf when it matters most.

Remember, she birdied three of the last four holes at Augusta to claim the coveted title that got her into this event at The Woodlands, in Texas.

Now, after an opening 71, she posted a three-under 69 to vault into the top 10. Amateurs don’t win very often on the LPGA. Lydia Ko was the last, when she went back-to-back at the Canadian Women’s Open in 2012 and 2013.

In the majors, you’ve got to go back some 57 years to Catherine Lacoste’s victory at the US Women’s Open.

But Florida State-based Woad, wearing her England Golf attire, has been destined for big things for some time. And she’s delivering well ahead of schedule.

Only a bogey on the 16th, the result of a poor tee shot and an approach that came up short, slightly dampened the mood.

And while all the attention may be on another potential history maker, Woad is in position to challenge for something really miraculous.

“Well, my goal wasn’t just to make the cut,” she said. “I wanted to play the weekend. I didn’t have a number in mind where I wanted to finish. I was just kind of trying to stick to my plan and shoot I guess under par.

“But now I’m only I think three back maybe at the moment. That might change. But just going to I guess see how close I can get and keep trying to contend.”

Asked about her future plans, and if winning would factor into a decision whether to go back to college, Woad added: “I mean, if I win that would be a different story. Probably not. I’ve got the whole summer of playing in all these exemptions, so just going to use that and I guess reassess a little bit. I don’t think it’s going to rush stuff too much.”

Chevron Championship

Chevron Championship: But can anyone stop Nelly Korda?

Let’s get onto that history maker. Nelly Korda is hunting down Nancy Lopez’s record of five consecutive victories in 1978 and Annika Sorenstam in 2003/4.

Judging by the opening two rounds, she remains the unstoppable force in the women’s game.

A second round 69 followed her 68 and saw her ominously rise to the top of the Chevron Championship leaderboard from the second day’s morning wave.

She goes into the third day one off Jin Hee Im and Atthaya Thitkul.at eight-under par.

Korda started with a damaging double bogey, but had righted the ship by the fourth and, after dropping a shot at the 7th, birdied 8, 9, 13 and 18 to set the standard.

“I actually didn’t feel bad at all,” she said of her opening 6. “Sometimes when you start to make mistakes you just don’t really feel confident or you don’t feel that great.

“But I just kind of, you know, told myself that it’s the first hole of the tournament today. Even though I may have made a double, I wanted to save a bogey. There is still so much golf to be played and there is still a good bit of gettable par-5s.

“So that’s usually what I think about, is just the opportunities that I have ahead.”

Asked how she would respond to people who said the tournament now had a feeling of inevitability about it, Korda added: “I’m just at the halfway point right now. The amount of golf that I’ve played, I still have that to go. There is still a lot of golf left and anything can happen.

“Just going to stick to my process and vibe with it is what my coach says.”

Now have your say

Could Lottie Woad make history, or will Nelly Korda join a list of golf’s immortals by winning five in a row at the Chevron Championship? Let me know your thoughts by leaving me a comment on X.

Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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