Connect with us

Golf

Chevron Championsip: Charley Hull, Lottie Woad and Leona Maguire among British and Irish hopes

Published

on

Fresh off the back of Scottie Scheffler’s win at Augusta National last week, we’re now all set for the first women’s major of the year with the Chevron Championship in Texas this week.

World No 1 Nelly Korda is chasing fifth-straight win to continue her remarkable 2024, while defending champion Lilia Vu is hoping to add to the two major titles she secured last year.

Vu overcame Angel Yin in a playoff 12 months ago, while fellow major winners in 2023, Allisen Corpuz, China’s Ruoning Yin and Celine Boutier figure to again be in the mix come Sunday.

Image:
Lilia Vu won the Chevron Championship last year, one of two major wins in 2023 for the American

But what of the Brits? Are there any British and Irish contenders present among the 132-strong field? Here, we take a closer look at some of the home hopes ahead of the tournament…


Live LPGA Tour Golf



Live LPGA Tour Golf


Charley Hull

Arguably the best golfer in the women’s game yet to win a major, the 28-year-old English hope came agonisingly close to changing that in 2023 – twice!

Hull finished tied for second in the US Women’s Open at Pebble Beach before then being beaten by a relentless Vu on the final day of her home major at the Women’s British Open.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Speaking on the Sky Sports Golf Podcast, Trish Johnson believes Charley Hull needs to improve her course management if she is to win more tournaments

Hull held a share of the 54-hole lead at Walton Heath before her challenge faded down the stretch. The disappointment only added to her determination to put things right, however, with Hull telling Sky Sports afterwards: “I really feel like next year’s my time to win one.”

Well, here you go Charley… The first major championship of 2024, go take it!

Georgia Hall

The only member of this field to have already tasted success at a major championship, with Hall’s win coming on home soil at the Women’s British Open in 2018.

The 27-year-old has struggled to turn that triumph into consistent final-day challenges at major championships since, with just three top-10 finishes across the five tournaments in the five years that have followed.

2023 in particular appeared to promise so much when, heading into last year’s Chevron Championship, Hall bagged herself two second-placed finishes on the LPGA Tour.

That form has since deserted her, however, with only one top-10 placing on the tour since and a fifth-placed finish on the Amraco Team Series in London last summer her best showing on the Ladies European Tour. Is this the week when she turns things around?

Lottie Woad

The only amateur among the British contingent, with the English 20-year-old earning her spot in stunning style by becoming the first European to win the Augusta National Women’s Amateur in early April.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Highlights of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur final round

Woad, a student at Florida State University and huge Leeds United fan, birdied her final two holes, and three of her last four, to finish one stroke ahead of American Bailey Shoemaker in the final round – though a 2-1 defeat for her beloved Leeds United to Coventry City “ruined my day a little bit”, she joked following her stunning victory.

Woad’s victory at Augusta comes one on from Rose Zhang’s, who has since won on her professional debut, recorded three top-10 finishes in majors and featured for Team USA in the Solheim Cup last September.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Lottie Woad’s local golf club celebrate her being the first British player to win the Augusta National Women’s Amateur

Woad told Sky Sports that “there is no rush” for her to follow in Zhang’s footsteps and turn pro, though a strong showing at the first major of 2024 – with appearances to follow at the Women’s British Open and US Women’s Open – will only see calls for her to do so grow louder.

Jodi Ewart Shadoff

The English 36-year-old played in her maiden major championship way back when in 2012, going on to card impressive top-10 finishes at both the Chevron Championship and US Women’s Open the following year.

Her career-best return came when finishing runner-up by two strokes to In-Kyung Kim at the 2017 Women’s British Open but, despite being a regular challenger on tour and a three-time Solheim Cup selection, a first LPGA Tour success eluded her until two years ago at the Mediheal Championship.

A somewhat surprising omission from Europe’s victorious Solheim squad last year, Ewart Shadoff will be extra keen not to miss out on their defence Stateside later this year… Currently ranked 69th in the world, a strong showing at the majors, starting this week, will certainly aid her cause.

Leona Maguire

leona maguire

Arguably the form player of the bunch, the 29-year-old from County Cavan in Ireland was edged out by Korda in the latest of her LPGA triumphs in the championship match of the T-Mobile Match Play in Las Vegas in early April.

Maguire had earned the top seed in the match-play bracket by going six under through 54 holes of stroke play. She then defeated Thailand’s Moriya Jutanugarn 4&3 and South Korea’s Sei Young Kim 3&2 in the quarter-finals and semi-finals, respectively, before faltering against Korda.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Highlights of the final at the LPGA Match Play at Shadow Creek, which saw Nelly Korda defeat Leona Maguire

Her match play prowess will be of no great surprise to followers of the Solheim Cup who have watched her tear it up to the tune of 4.5 points from five matches in 2021 and three in 2023 – both successes for Team Europe.

So far the majors have proven hard to conquer for Maguire, with a tied-fourth finish at the 2022 Women’s British Open her best yet, but she’s certainly got the game to change all that.

Stephanie Meadow

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - JUNE 25: Stephanie Meadow of Northern Ireland tees off at the 6th tee during the final round of the LPGA KPMG Women's PGA Championship on June 25, 2023 at Baltusrol Golf Club (Lower Course) in Springfield, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)

The 32-year-old from Jordanstown, Northern Ireland turned professional 10 years ago shortly after qualifying for the 2014 US Women’s Open where she’d secure a hugely-impressive third-placed finish.

Meadow failed to kick on from such impressive beginnings, making the cut only twice over the next six years but since 2021 she has enjoyed an upturn in fortunes, carding top-10 finishes for the last two years running at the Women’s PGA Championship – with her tied-third in 2023 matching her career best.

She also placed eighth at the Blue Bay LPGA last month that points to her game being in good order coming into the first major of the year.

Gemma Dryburgh

Gemma Dryburgh (Associated Press)

The 30-year-old Scot enjoyed quite the rise when, off the back of a first LPGA Tour win at the Toto Japan Classic in November 2022, she catapulted herself into the world’s top 100.

Dryburgh showed it was far from a flash in the pan as she kicked on to a career-high ranking of 50 last year, earning herself a maiden Solheim Cup spot as one of the four captain’s picks in Suzann Pettersen’s victorious squad.

Her best-yet finish at a major also came last year as she finished eighth at the Evian Championship in France which was ultimately claimed by home favourite Boutier.

Can she improve on that this week? Two top-10 finishes on the LPGA Tour already this year point to her game being in a strong enough state to see her in the mix come Sunday.

Watch every men’s and women’s major live on Sky Sports Golf in 2024 or stream with NOW.

The first women’s major of the year, The Chevron Championship, is live from 3pm this Thursday, with the next men’s major, the PGA Championship at Valhalla in Kentucky, taking place from May 16-19.

Ad content | Stream Sky Sports on NOW

NOW TV PROMO APRIL 2024

Stream Sky Sports live with no contract on a Month or Day membership on NOW. Instant access to live action from the Premier League, EFL, F1, England Cricket, Tennis and so much more.

Get Sky Sports on WhatsApp

You can now start receiving messages and alerts for the latest breaking sports news, analysis, in-depth features and videos from our dedicated WhatsApp channel!

Find out more here

Golf Now logo.

Get the best prices and book a round at one of 1,700 courses across the UK & Ireland

Continue Reading