The Chevron Championship 2024 Tips: Patty can win first major of season

 | April 16 | 

17 mins read

jamie LPGA

It's the first Women's Major Championship on Thursday and as always we've asked our LPGA expert Jamie Worsley to give us his preview, as well as five each-way selections ranging from 30/1 to 125/1. Here are Jamie's Chevron Championship Predictions. 

The Chevron Championship Betting Tips

  • 2 pts Patty Tavatanakit each way (1/5 - 6 places) - 30/1 
  • 1.5 pts Yuka Saso each way (1/5 - 6 places) - 33/1
  • 1.25 pts Haeran Ryu each way (1/5 - 6 places) - 45/1 
  • 1 pt Hannah Green each way (1/5 - 6 places) - 60/1
  • 1 pt Maja Stark each way (1/5 - 6 places) - 125/1

After the dominant force in the men’s game won the first major of the year last week, we have a somewhat similar scenario as the women kick off their major season on Thursday, with the Chevron Championship at Carlton Woods’ Nicklaus Course.

It has been little over a week since the invincible Nelly Korda won her fourth event in a row in the T-Mobile LPGA Match Play – the first player to do so since Lorena Ochoa in 2008 and the first American since Nancy Lopez in 1978.

She now enters this week as the heavy favourite to win an overdue second major title – much like Scheffler last week – and not only that, if she were to do so she would tie the LPGA record for most consecutive wins, joining Annika Sorenstam and Nancy Lopez on five.

It is of course not all about Nelly this week and we have a strong collection of in-form players who will be desperate to get their hands on a major championship. Setting us up for what promises to be an exciting week in Texas.

TOURNAMENT HISTORY

The Chevron Championship (previously known as the Kraft Nabisco Championship and ANA inspiration among other names) made its debut on the LPGA as a non-major in 1972, before being upgraded in status in 1983.

It was staged at the Dinah Shore Course at Mission Hills Country Club from that very first edition, where it stayed up to and including 2022; with the Nicklaus Course at Carlton Woods becoming the new host course last year.

Amy Alcott won the first major championship edition of the event in 1983. After recording further victories in 1988 and 1991, she became the first of three players to win the title on three occasions, later followed by Annika Sorenstam (2001, 2002, 2005) and Betsy King (1987, 1990, 1997).

There are a further four players to have won the trophy on two occasions: Juli Inkster (1984, 1989), Dottie Pepper (1992, 1999), Karrie Webb (2000, 2006) and Brittany Lincicome (2009, 2015).

It was an event very much dominated by home players in the early years, but Karrie Webb’s 2000 victory prompted a glut of international champions, with fifteen of the last twenty-four renewals going to players outside the U.S; including wins for Lorena Ochoa (2008), Yani Tseng (2010) and Lydia Ko (2016). Though home players have battled back in the last two years.

Last five winners:

  • 2023 – Winner: Lilia Vu (-10, playoff); runner-up: Angel Yin (-10)
  • 2022 – Winner: Jennifer Kupcho (-14); runner-up: Jessica Korda (-12)
  • 2021 – Winner: Patty Tavatanakit (-18); runner-up: Lydia Ko (-16)
  • 2020 – Winner: Mirim Lee (-15, playoff); runners-up: Brooke Henderson, Nelly Korda (-15)
  • 2019 – Winner: Jin Young Ko (-10); runner-up: Mi Hyang Lee (-7)

Lilia Vu won the first Carlton Woods edition of the Chevron Championship last year, beating Angel Yin in a playoff, and becoming the sixth straight winner to pick up their first major in this event. It was her second win of an incredible year, as she became a two-time major champion four months later in the Women’s Open; claimed a fourth title of 2023 in The ANNIKA at the end of the year and became world #1.

THE COURSE

Jack Nicklaus designed this signature layout in 2001. His design team then returned to renovate and modernise the venue after last year’s tournament, where among other changes they installed new greens to USGA specifications and levelled the tee boxes. In addition they upgraded the bunkers, with several strategically enlarged; whilst adding new ones to the 7th, 9th and 16th holes.

At 6889 yards, this par 72 was the longest course played on tour last year. It possesses 10x par 4s (386-439 yards), 4x par 5s (509-552 yards) and 4x par 3s (161-186 yards).

The course presented a strong challenge in 2023, with -10 enough to get into a playoff and +1 seeing players into the weekend. However, it is noteworthy that conditions were rather difficult, with strong, gusty winds on show throughout the week.

Framed by mature trees and several water features, this flat parkland course is rather picturesque in spots.

It features generous and well-maintained fairways, which are protected by large, strategic bunkering. They require players to hit the correct spots to give themselves the best angle of attack into the greens, with some approaches blocked out by trees.

Whilst the relatively speedy bermudagrass greens – playing between 11.5-12 on the stimp this week – are large, they proved difficult to hit last year. Many are elevated and placed diagonally to the fairway position, and often either narrow or shallow in shape.

That makes it a challenge to access some tricky pin positions on these heavily sloped putting surfaces, with players tempted in to taking on the water and large, penal greenside bunkers to get it close.

The water come into play on nine holes and when they do they are a prominent danger. It is a feature of three of the four par 3s and plays a big part over the exciting closing holes.

It really draws the eye on the 392-yard par 4 15th, with a creak running down the left-hand side of the fairway and crossing back into a pond that sits at the front of the green.

Players then move to the 421-yard par 4 16th. Whilst there is no water here, the hole requires a demanding drive over sand into the left-to-right doglegging fairway. Go too far on either side and they will be faced with an approach shot blocked out by trees.

Water returns on each of the final two holes, with a pond protecting the shallow, angled and well-bunkered green on the 161-yard par 3 17th.

We then come to the risk/reward 524-yard par 5 18th. Though possessing one of the widest fairways on the course, there is water left and a large bunker pinches the landing area on the right. Hit the fairway and the players must then decide whether to lay up or attack the shallow, elevated green, which has water dangerously lurking to the front.

It is a fine finish to the course and should help create drama right down to the wire in this first women’s major of the year.

THE WEATHER

I already mentioned how the weather played its part last year and it may do the same this time around, with warm and humid conditions carrying with them a threat of thunderstorms throughout the week.

Wind doesn’t look to be an issue for the opening three days but as the temperatures are forecast to cool on Sunday, some potentially troublesome 20mph+ gusts could come with them and make the final round the most difficult of the week.

KEY STATS

  • SG: Off-the-Tee
  • Driving Distance

The most telling stat by far among last year’s leading contenders was the driver; somewhat expected on this lengthy layout.

Winner, Lilia Vu ranked 4th off-the-tee; runner-up, Angel Yin ranked 1st; 3rd-place finisher, Nelly Korda was 5th and of the players who tied for 4th, A Lim Kim ranked 2nd OTT.

Of the top 8 there, only Allisen Corpuz could be described as a player who relies on accuracy with the driver and we should again look towards those who possess some length this week.

  • SG: Approach
  • Greens-in-Regulation

Quality iron play is a necessity most weeks, let alone at a Jack Nicklaus design. As already discussed, these greens were tough to hit last year and require a good level of accuracy in approach to get it close to tough pin positions.

Lilia Vu ranked 5th in greens-in-regulation and 7th in approach when she won last year; only one of the top 8 ranked outside the top 25 in approach and 6/8 were top 20 for GIR.

  • SG: Putting (bermudagrass)

These greens are the most demanding aspect of Carlton Woods’ Nicklaus Course and it stands to reason that conquering them played a big part in players being able to challenge last year.

It was another area in which the winner excelled, ranking 7th and again looking at that top 8 in 2023, none of them ranked outside the top 25 on the putting surfaces.

  • Par 5 Scoring

Clear birdie chances aren’t easy to come by this week. The par 4s all look difficult and are mid-long in length, whilst there is danger lurking on each of the par 3s. This is why it looks ultra important to take advantage of the opportunities on the par 5s; two of which will play at under 500 yards.

CORRELATING EVENTS (COURSES)

Honda LPGA Thailand (Siam Country Club – Old Course)

The stats required to perform this week are a carbon copy of what is usually needed in Thailand, at a flat, tree-lined course with generous fairways and quick bermudagrass greens.

In addition, the conditions are usually warm and humid - not dissimilar to this week – and despite Carlton Woods only hosting the Chevron Championship on one occasion, it did develop some notable form-ties with Siam CC.

Notable correlating form:

Lilia Vu:

Chevron (1st) / Honda LPGA (1st)

Angel Yin:

Chevron (2nd) / Honda LPGA (3rd)

Amy Yang:

Chevron (4th) / Honda LPGA (1st, 1st, 1st)

Atthaya Thitikul:

Chevron (4th) / Honda LPGA (2nd, 3rd)

Albane Valenzuela:

Chevron (4th) / Honda LPGA (2nd)

The ANNIKA (Pelican Golf Club)

Though much shorter than this week’s course, the inviting and generous fairways at Pelican Golf Club have made it a favourite among longer hitters. Flat and tree-lined, with large bermudagrass greens and water in-play on around half of the holes, there are countless reasons why players may carry form between these two courses.

Notable correlating form:

Lilia Vu:

Chevron (1st) / ANNIKA (1st)

Nelly Korda:

Chevron (3rd) / ANNIKA (1st, 1st)

Allisen Corpuz:

Chevron (4th) / ANNIKA (3rd)

Amy Yang:

Chevron (4th) / ANNIKA (4th)

HSBC Women’s World Championship (Sentosa Golf Club – Tanjong Course)

The Tanjong Course at Sentosa Golf Club is a long par 72, with large, sloping and speedy bermudagrass greens, strong strategic bunkering and plenty of water in-play. Much like Thailand, warm and humid conditions are commonplace there.

Notable correlating form:

Nelly Korda:

Chevron (3rd) / HSBC (1st, 2nd)

Allisen Corpuz:

Chevron (4th) / HSBC (3rd)

Atthaya Thitikul:

Chevron (4th) / HSBC (4th)

A Lim Kim:

Chevron (4th) / HSBC (9th)

THE FIELD

The stars are out in force for this first women’s major of the year, including forty-four of the world’s top 50 and each of the top 25 on the Rolex Rankings.

Nelly Korda is the star attraction, closely followed by Lilia Vu at #2. Vu is one of eleven former winners in attendance, joined by Jennifer Kupcho (2022), Patty Tavatanakit (2021), Jin Young Ko (2019), Pernilla Lindberg (2018), So Yeon Ryu (2017), Lydia Ko (2016), Brittany Lincicome (2015, 2009), Lexi Thompson (2014), Stacy Lewis (2011) and Yani Tseng (2010).

Along with Vu, each of last year’s other first-time major winners will tee also tee it up: Ruoning Yin (KPMG Women’s PGA), Allisen Corpuz (US Women’s Open) and Celine Buoutier (Evian Championship).

Missing all of 2024 so far with a thumb injury, Atthaya Thitikul makes her return this week; the top players on the LET and JLPGA in 2023, Trichat Cheenglab and Miyu Yamashita are too in attendance; and we are also joined by #3 amateur and winner of the recent Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship, Lottie Woad of England.

SELECTIONS

Market leaders: Nelly Korda 5/1, Lilia Vu 25/1, Lydia Ko 25/1, Brooke Henderson 25/1, Rose Zhang 25/1, Jin Young Ko 25/1, Atthaya Thitikul 25/1

Unsurprisingly, Nelly Korda is a strong, short-priced favourite at 5/1, with a host of stars queuing up behind her at 25s, including reigning champion Lilia Vu.

Korda is of course the star of the moment and after a promising debut effort of 3rd last year, she has everything in her favour to make history this week. However, right at the start of the year, there was another major winner announcing a return to form, winning in back-to-back weeks and looking every bit a contender for when major season comes around, and priced above those immediately behind Nelly in the betting, I’m taking Patty Tavatanakit to win her second Chevron Championship title this week.

2 pts Patty Tavatanakit each way (1/5 - 6 places) - 30/1 

After a couple of years of underperformances following her 2021 major success at Mission Hills, Tavatanakit started to show signs of progress towards the end of 2023, and has stepped that up a level in 2024.

She started the year with a 42nd-place finish in the LPGA Drive On Championship but instantly kicked on in her next start in the Saudi Ladies International, annihilating a strong field by seven strokes to win her first event in almost three years.

The Thai star could’ve been forgiven for not being quite at her best the following week back home for the Honda LPGA Thailand, but she produced a tee-to-green masterclass to win her second event on the spin.

There has been little sign of her letting up in her three starts since then. She followed the second of those wins with an 8th-place finish in the HSBC Women’s World Championship; a 4th-place finish in the Singapore Women’s Open on one of her occasional trips to the Korean Tour and when we last saw her, she finished a rock-solid 22nd in the Fir Hills Seri Pak Championship.

Patty has been back to her brilliant best with the driver this season, which has contributed greatly to her improved fortunes. She ranks 5th off-the-tee and at 6th in driving distance she’s one of the longest players on tour.

Her approach play has been sound since her second start of the year and she’s always possessed an excellent short game; ranking top 5 in par 5 scoring, she looks ideal for this challenge statistically.

Tavatanakit finished 41st last year when her game was in a generally worse place, though a second-round 67 did show what she could potentially do on this course and it was hugely encouraging to see her rank 2nd on the greens. Her win in Thailand this year should be a good pointer, as could her top 10s in the HSBC Women’s World Champ and The ANNIKA. With her solo major to date coming in this event at the previous host, Mission Hills – another lengthy course with fast bermudagrass-based greens – there is little not to like about her chances this week.

1.5 pts Yuka Saso each way (1/5 - 6 places) - 33/1

2021 US Women’s Open champion, Yuka Saso has been playing well this season, looking massively improved in approach. This should help her upgrade on a disappointing missed cut here on debut last year and with her major credentials well on show in 2023, recording two top 3s, she looks one of the standout candidates this week.

Saso hasn’t missed a cut yet this season, starting the year with a 7th-place finish in the Saudi Ladies International and has since recorded five top 30s in a row on the LPGA (four of them top 20s), with her best effort coming when narrowly missing out on the match play stage of the T-Mobile Match Play two weeks ago.

Much like last season, this big hitter has looked strong OTT, ranking 14th and on the greens, ranking 34th. However, it’s the aforementioned improvements in approach that are most encouraging, going from ranking outside the top 80 in this area in each of the previous two seasons to being 34th this. Add in the fact that she ranks 2nd in par 5 scoring and she has given us every reason to believe she can go significantly better at Carlton Woods this time around.

To be fair to Saso, her missed cut here last year was the second of four on the spin and she obviously arrives this week in much better form. Having finished 6th at Sentosa, recorded three top 20s in three visits to Siam and hit the top 15 on her two previous starts at Pelican Golf Club, she has plenty of form at comp courses to suggest this course should suit.

1.25 pts Haeran Ryu each way (1/5 - 6 places) - 45/1 

We had a glut of first-time major winners last year, with all of them going to players who were majorless before the start of 2023. Possessing a power-packed ball-striking game, Haeran Ryu has the skills in her locker to continue that theme and become the seventh first-time major winner in a row at the Chevron Championship.

Ryu enjoyed a promising rookie season on the LPGA last year, winning the Arkansas Championship for her first title on the tour towards the end of the year and also recorded a first major top 10 in the US Women’s Open, finishing 8th. She’s looked in good form at the start of this season, hitting the top 10 twice in seven starts and missing just one cut.

Similarly to last year, her positive results can be largely attributed to her elite-level ball-striking. She combines power with accuracy to rank 8th OTT this season, complimenting that with quality iron play, ranking 4th in GIR and 23rd in approach. The putter hasn’t been quite as solid as last year but we can at least take optimism from her good performance on these greens last year, where she ranked 33rd.

Whilst only managing to finish 56th there, Ryu was still just finding her feet in the U.S and having finished inside the top 25 in each of her visits to the three comp courses mentioned above, she certainly looks to have the game to improve that finish this year.

1 pt Hannah Green each way (1/5 - 6 places) - 60/1

Australia’s Hannah Green has played a light schedule so far in 2024; however she’s already added a fourth LPGA victory to her C.V over her four starts and can rely on her high-class putting and iron play to claim a second major title this week.

Green started her year with an uninspiring 54th in Thailand but stepped it up considerably on her next start, holing an incredible 30-footer on her final hole in regulation to claim win the HSBC Women’s World Championship. Though missing the cut on her next start at Palos Verdes Golf Club, she looked good again in the Ford Championship when we last saw her, finishing 21st.

Just like her win in Singapore, her typically strong approach play and putting engineered that latest performance. She ranks 16th on the greens and is top 26 in both GIR and approach. In addition, that power that she had shown in previous years but that deserted her last year has returned, ranking 21st in driving distance in 2024. Creating a strong profile for this beast of a course.

Green can be forgiven her missed cut here last year, which came during an inauspicious start to the season. We can take confidence from her win in Singapore – a place where she’d previously finished 2nd – and with top-7 finishes at The ANNIKA and in Thailand to her name, she has more than enough form in the right places to suggest she’s capable of much better.

1 pt Maja Stark each way (1/5 - 6 places) - 125/1

I’m going to finish with Sweden’s Maja Stark at a huge price, who I’m hoping will draw inspiration from countryman and former schoolmate, Ludvig Aberg’s superb major debut last week to contend for her first major in Texas.

Stark had a solid first full season on the LPGA, which included a first major top 10 in the US Women’s Open. She made a slow start to this season but burst into life at the Ford Championship two starts ago, finishing three shots behind Nelly Korda in 3rd; a performance that came as a result of her best tee-to-green performance of the year, ranking 7th and looked particularly strong OTT, also ranking 7th.

She again hit the ball well on her last start in the match play event. This type of ball-striking performance shouldn’t come as too much a surprise for a player who ranked 19th in approach and 33rd OTT on tour last season. Whilst as a typically strong par 5 scorer, she has the skillset to make the most of the best birdie chances on this course.

Stark was a solid 37th on debut last year, where she especially excelled in approach, ranking 9th and was also 12th in GIR. A 4th in last year’s Honda LPGA Thailand is a sign that she is capable of improving that and with her ball-striking coming together over those recent starts she looked an appealing price for what looks a suitable setup.

You can find all Jamie's latest Golf Betting Tips over on our dedicated golf Insights hub.

Share Article

(Visited 821 times, 1 visits today)