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  • Writer's pictureNate (@WeKnowFantasy)

Out of the Rough: Chevron Championship (2024)

The first major of the LPGA season is upon us as the world’s best women golfers head to The Club at Carlton Woods for the Chevron Championship.

All eyes will be on Nelly Korda who comes into this week the winner of the latest three LPGA events and the winner of four on the season.

This event was previously held at the Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California since its inception on Tour in 1972 and has served as the first major event of the season since 1983.

With the new location, we no longer will see the infamous pond jump into Poppie’s Pond by the tournament winner, which is a bummer.

The event moved to The Club at Carlton Woods in The Woodlands, Texas last season, serving as just the second course to host this event in its 52 years of existence.

As the women’s game continues to evolve, a purse of $5.1 million will be awarded this week.

The Field

On the PGA Tour we have Scottie Scheffler as the World No. 1 and currently dominating every event and golf course he steps onto. The LPGA Tour offers its counterpart with Korda who has already won Four times this season. 

The 25 year-old superstar looks to add her second major title to her resume this week as she won the Women’s PGA Championship back in 2021.

Lilia Vu comes in as the defending champion, winning the first playing of the Chevron Championship at The Club at Carlton Woods a season ago. She did so in dramatic fashion, downing Angel Yin in the first playoff hole.

Vu finished regulation with two birdies to tie Yin before birdieing the first playoff hole to win her first major title. 

Both Vu and Yin will be in attendance this week.

Charley Hull, Leona Maguire and Celine Boutier lead a European contingent who hope to halt Korda’s insane run of form. 

Other notable names teeing it up this week include Jin Young Ko, Atthaya Thitikul, Rose Zhang, Sei Young Kim, Brooke Henderson and Lydia Ko. 

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

The Course

The Club at Carlton Woods is a Jack Nicklaus design that opened in 2001 and will pose a difficult test to even the World’s best golfers.

It will play as a par-72 at 6,824 yards and takes full advantage of the natural lakes, ponds, forests and rolling terrain of the area.

It offers generous teeing grounds and landing areas but the wind between lakes can cause misplaced shots.

Areas of natural vegetation separate several of the holes which not only adds to the beauty of the course, but adds an additional challenge.

One of the key holes at this week’s track is the par-five 18th hole that is reachable. Although the hole is reachable, it is best described as a classic risk-reward hole.

It is surrounded by water so there will be a big decision to be made in going for the green or laying up.

The greens are both undulating and surrounded by bunkers. Playing from the sand will be the routine this week.

Getting off the tee will be rather important this week in both distance and accuracy. With natural vegetation everywhere on the course, a misplaced tee shot can derail anyone’s round.

The course also plays on the longer side of LPGA standards, so those who can bomb it off the tee will see an advantage this week.

The Weather

As of the time of writing this, the weather looks like it may not cooperate with us. Forecasts currently call for a 50-percent chance of precipitation on Saturday and a 70-percent chance on Sunday. Even Thursday and Friday are calling for a 20-percent chance of precipitation. Winds will serve as the biggest line of defense this week as they are currently set at 13-to-15 miles-per-hour across all four days. Temperatures will begin at 88-degrees on Thursday and Friday before falling to 84-degrees on Saturday and 73-degrees come Sunday. In all, it appears the weather will have its hand in crowning the first LPGA major winner of the season this week.

Key Stats

  • Greens in Regulation Percentage (GIR%)

  • Average Driving Distance

  • Scoring Average

  • Sand Saves Percentage

  • Putting Average

  • Driving Accuracy

  • Par 5 Average Scoring

Betting Card

Brooke Henderson (+2800)

Although lacking a victory, Henderson has found a ton of success during the early portion of her 2024 campaign. She’s fresh off a T9th in her last outing at the T-Mobile Match Play. She also placed solo third at the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions, T3rd at the HSBC Women’s World Championship and T9th at the LPGA Drive On Championship. She played here a season ago where she finished T23rd. Henderson is currently fourth on Tour in GIR%, 11th in scoring average, 29th in par five average scoring, 30th in sand saves percentage, 33rd in average driving distance, 43rd in driving accuracy and 55th in putting average. I’m playing a unit on her this week.

Sei Young Kim (+2800)

Through her first six events of the 2024 season, Kim’s worst finish is a T17th. She is fresh off a T3rd at the T-Mobile Match Play and also placed T3rd at the Honda LPGA Thailand back in February. She played this event last year where she did make the cut. Kim is currently fourth on Tour in scoring average, 16th in GIR%, 22nd in putting average, 30th in average driving distance, 51st in par five average scoring, 61st in sand saves percentage and 93rd in driving accuracy. I’m playing a unit on her this week.

Yuka Saso (+3300)

My model absolutely loves Saso this week. She has played five events thus far this year where her worst finish was a T27th and outside of that, has placed T17th or better in the other four. She is also fresh off a T9th at the T-Mobile Match Play. She did miss the cut here a season ago but that was in the midst of some poor form which included four consecutive missed cuts. She came out the rough stretch firing a season ago however and hasn't looked back. She is currently third on Tour in par five average scoring, 13th in scoring average, 17th in average driving distance, 28th in sand saves percentage, 30th in both putting average and GIR% and 65th in driving accuracy. I’m also playing a unit on her this week.

Lucy Li (+15000)

My final play this week is Li, who holds the record as the youngest U.S. Women’s Amateur and U.S. Women’s Open qualifier. She played in the U.S. Women’s Open at just 12 years old. During her start to the 2024 season, she placed T4th at the LPGA Drive On Championship, T10th at the Blue Bay LPGA and T13th at the FIR HILLS SERI PARK Championship. She did play in this event a year ago but missed the cut. Li is currently fifth on Tour in scoring average, seventh in par five average scoring, 14th in sand saves percentage, 15th in GIR%, 35th in average driving distance, 40th in putting average and 77th in driving accuracy. I’m playing a unit on her this week.

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