Home » Chevron Championship Power Rankings: The top 25 players in the LPGA’s first major – Australian Golf Digest

Chevron Championship Power Rankings: The top 25 players in the LPGA’s first major – Australian Golf Digest

The Chevron Championship arrives as the LPGA Tour is in Nelly Korda’s orbit. The 25-year-old has won her last four starts in a row, starting at the LPGA Drive On in January. Then Korda took seven weeks off and returned to the tour by winning the LPGA’s last three events: the Fir Hills Se Ri Pak Championship, the Ford Championship and the T-Mobile LPGA Match Play. The 12-time LPGA winner is the top player in the game, and, spoiler alert, I might not have a job if I didn’t put Korda at No. 1 in these Chevron power rankings.

Recent history, however, stands against Korda earning her fifth consecutive title this week. Lydia Ko’s 2016 ANA Inspiration victory was the last time anyone who was No. 1 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings won a major. But Korda is clearly in her own tier at the moment, with a chance to move her 2024 campaign into the Annika Sorenstam and Lorena Ochoa echelon of great years with the calendar still in April. The American showed comfort at Carlton Woods last year during the tour’s first visit to The Woodlands, Texas, with a third-place finish.

Meantime, Ko continues her march toward reaching the LPGA Hall of Fame, and a victory this week would be a fitting way to secure that honor.

Here are our top 25 players heading into the LPGA’s first major of the season.

25. Andrea Lee

Rolex Rankings: 40; Chevron starts: 6; Best finish: T-56, 2023

Lee is a consistent performer early on this season, with three top-10s, including a T-5 at Palos Verdes Golf Club, her home course, at the Se Ri Pak Championship. The 2022 Portland Classic winner still needs to translate that consistency to majors, looking for the third top-10 of her career in her 22nd start. Her T-56 in 2023 was the first made cut of her career in the Chevron.

24. Mi Hyang Lee

Rolex Rankings: 66; Chevron starts: 10; Best finish: 2nd, 2019; ’23 Finish: MC

The South Korean has a pair of T-3s this season at the HSBC and the Ford Championship, the first time she’s posted two top-3s during one campaign in her 13-year career. In a resurgent season, the two-time LPGA winner has moved up the world rankings from 132nd at the start of 2024 to 67th.

23. Sarah Schmelzel

Rolex Rankings: 62; Chevron starts: 5; Best finish: T-25, 2021; ’23 Finish: MC

Schmelzel is in impressive company in the early part of 2024. The 29-year-old is tied with Brooke Henderson, Ayaka Furue, and Korda for the most top-10s (four) on tour. She posted a career-best finish with a runner-up at the Blue Bay LPGA. This year is already the most top-10s the five-year veteran has had in a season, totaling 12 in her career.

22. Amy Yang

Michael Reaves

Rolex Rankings: 15; Chevron starts: 14; Best finish: T-4, 2012 and 2023

The 2023 CME Group Tour Championship winner is one of the most consistent major performers on the LPGA without a major title in hand. Yang has 21 top-10s, including 12 top-5s, since winning low amateur at the 2006 Women’s British. The five-time LPGA winner has yet to contend in 2024, with a best finish of T-23 in at the Honda LPGA Thailand.

21. Ruoning Yin

Rolex Rankings: 4; Chevron starts: 1; Best finish: T-41, 2023

The 2023 Women’s PGA Championship winner enters the first major off a challenging finish in her title defense at Palos Verdes Golf Club. While leading, Yin triple bogeyed the 18th hole Saturday and shot a final-round 73 to tie for eighth. It’s the 21-year-old’s only top-10 of the season in seven starts. Her strokes dropped from third place on tour in 2023 (1.87) to 48th (0.52) this season.

20. Allisen Corpuz 1529317292

Ezra Shaw

Rolex Rankings: 17; Chevron starts: 1; Best finish: T-4, 2023

The signs of Corpuz breaking through at Pebble Beach for her U.S. Women’s Open title started at last year’s Chevron, where the American was the 54-hole leader. Corpuz’s Sunday 74 put her two strokes out of the playoff. Knocking Corpuz down this list are her recent struggles at the end of the LPGA’s west coast swing, posting a T-40 and T-60 over her last two starts.

19. Atthaya Thitikul

Rolex Rankings: 10; Chevron starts: 3; Best finish: T-4, 2023

It’s hard to evaluate the former World No. 1, considering Chevron will be her first start anywhere in the 2024 season. The Thai won the 2023 Vare Trophy, awarded to the player with the lowest scoring average on tour, without any victories. Thitikul closed her season on a high note, posting four top-5s in her final five starts to end her campaign.

18. Charley Hull 1338262785

Maddie Meyer

Rolex Rankings: 7; Chevron starts: 10; Best finish: T-2, 2016; ’23 Finish: MC

Hull notched a pair of major runners-up last year, pushing Corpuz down the stretch at Pebble Beach and sharing the 54-hole lead at the AIG Women’s Open with Lilia Vu before losing by six. Hull continued her strong play early in the ’24 season with a pair of top-10s before a back injury forced her to WD from the Ford. Hopefully, the two-week break gave the Englishwoman some needed reprieve before the Chevron.

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Rolex Rankings: 20; Chevron starts: 9; Best finish: 2nd (playoff loss), 2023

Yin made her first start of 2024 at the LPGA Match play, sitting out the beginning of the year on the mend. She says she now carries the ball about 20 yards farther off the tee than before the injury, a discovery the 2023 Buick Shanghai LPGA winner made during two weeks of practice before the recent Match Play. She was the only player to take Korda to the 16th hole on the weekend ahead of returning to the home of her best major finish, last year’s Chevron playoff loss to Lilia Vu.

16. Megan Khang

Rolex Rankings: 13 Chevron starts: 8 Best finish: T-9, 2023

Khang earned her first career victory at the CPKC Women’s Open last August and had a breakthrough season at the majors in 2023. It was the first time in her career she posted three top-10s at majors, including a T-9 at Carlton Woods and a T-3 at the Women’s PGA. The 26-year-old continued her strong play with a third place at the LPGA Drive On Championship in January, one of three top-15 finishes in five starts in 2024.

15. Ayaka Furue

Rolex Rankings: 22; Chevron starts: 2; Best finish: T-44, 2022; ’23 Finish: T-52

Furue may be the most consistent player on tour without a win this season. The Japanese native has finished in the top 30 in all eight events she has played, highlighted by three top-5s and a third-place finish at the Blue Bay LPGA. The 2022 Women’s Scottish Open winner posted two top-10s at majors last year, but hasn’t figured out the Chevron yet.

14. Minjee Lee 1749685572

Chung Sung-Jun

Rolex Rankings: 5; Chevron starts: 10; Best finish: T-3, 2017; ’23 Finish: T-41

Lee made only two domestic starts in 2024, including a T-15 in Las Vegas. She enters the Chevron off a down major season for her last year, where 2023 was the first time since 2019 that the 10-time winner did not post a top-10 at a major. Lee’s finish at Carlton Woods (T-41) was the second-worst major result of her season.

13. Allison Lee

Rolex Rankings: 14; Chevron starts: 8; Best finish: T-8, 2022; ’23 Finish: MC

The only thing stopping Lee’s run since the end of the 2023 season is a dog bite. Lee’s boyfriend’s dog bit her left hand during the offseason, extending the 29-year-old’s break to the opening Asia swing. Outside of her T-51 to begin the season in Singapore, Lee’s finished in the top 10 in five of her last seven starts, including three consecutive runners-up to finish 2023. The American’s new-found confidence, fueled partly by cornerman Freddie Couples, has put Lee in a position to contend week in and week out.

12. Jiyai Shin golfworld-2009-09-gwar01_090913_jiyai_shin.jpg

Rolex Rankings: 18; Chevron starts: 9; Best finish: T-5, 2010; ’23 Finish: N/A

The former World No. 1 made her first start in a domestic regular LPGA event since 2013 at the Se Ri Pak Fir Hills Championship and was tied for the 54-hole lead before Korda won the title. Shin has been finding success whenever she plays on the LPGA lately: The 35-year-old has finished in the top 5 in five of her last seven starts, including a T-2 at the U.S. Women’s Open.

11. Hyo Joo Kim

Rolex Rankings: 9 Chevron starts: 8 Best finish: T-6, 2019 ’23 Finish: 11th

Kim is one of the most consistent major performers on the LPGA in the past five seasons. Over her last 20 major starts, dating back to the end of 2018, the South Korean has only finished outside of the top 30 twice. She’s amassed 10 top-10s over that span, including narrowly missing out on her 11th at last year’s Chevron. However, as much time as she spends at the top of major leaderboards, Kim has only one win: the 2014 Evian Championship, the first major appearance of her career.

10. Hannah Green 2054794260

Andrew Redington

Rolex Rankings: 16; Chevron starts: 6; Best finish: T-8, 2022; ’23 Finish: MC

The Australian heads into the Chevron in form, even with only four starts this season. Green notched her fourth career victory at the HSBC Women’s World Championship in late February, closing with three consecutive 67s to win by a stroke. The 2019 Women’s PGA winner shot a 61, the lowest round of her career, just two weeks ago during the second round of the Ford Championship.

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Rolex Rankings: 24; Chevron starts: 5; Best finish: Win, 2021; ’23 Finish: T-41

The long-bombing Thai made her mark by averaging over 320 yards in her California desert win in the 2021 ANA Inspiration, becoming the second major champion from her homeland alongside Ariya Jutanugarn. She showed initial mastery of Carlton Woods in 2023, sitting in fourth through 36 holes at last year’s Chevron before a 77-76 weekend.

8. Rose Zhang 1760820543

Yong Teck Lim

Rolex Rankings: 21; Chevron starts: 2; Best finish: T-11 2020; ’23 Finish: DNP

Zhang makes her Carlton Woods debut following a rookie season with impressive major consistency. The Mizuho Americas Open winner posted top-10s in three of her four major appearances: T-9s in the U.S. Women’s Open and the Evian, and a T-8 in the Women’s PGA. Returning to tour play following attending classes at Stanford, Zhang ended her three-tournament run by making the quarterfinals of the LPGA Match Play.

7. Sei Young Kim

Rolex Rankings: 34; Chevron starts: 10; Best finish: T-3, 2021; ’23 Finish: T-52

The 13-time LPGA winner is having a renaissance season. Kim has finished in the top 20 in all six starts this year, including a T-3 at the Honda LPGA Thailand. The 31-year-old won at least once yearly from 2015 to 2020, including her first major title at the 2020 Women’s PGA. The South Korean’s resurgence shows in her strokes gained, as Kim sits in third on the LPGA this season (2.08) compared to 39th last year (0.58).

6. Jin Young Ko

Rolex Rankings: 6; Chevron starts: 7; Best finish: Win, 2019; ’23 Finish: T-9

Ko is one of the most dominant players of the current LPGA era. However, the South Korean has mostly been missing in action this season, making her domestic debut this week and only making two starts during the opening Asia swing. Ko’s last event was a T-8 at the HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore in February. The 15-time winner has finished in the top 10 at majors in nine of her last 20 starts.

5. Celine Boutier 1762994113

Yong Teck Lim

Rolex Rankings: 3; Chevron starts: 6; Best finish: T-4, 2022; ’23 Finish: T-14

The 2023 Evian Championship winner continued her excellent run to finish last season with a runner-up at the HSBC Women’s Championship in early March. Boutier won four times last year, including three victories over a seven-start stretch.

4. Lilia Vu

Rolex Rankings: 2; Chevron starts: 4; Best finish: Win, 2023

Vu has proven that form matters less for her when heading into majors. The defending champion missed back-to-back cuts at last year’s U.S. Women’s Open and KPMG Women’s PGA before T-42 and T-35 finishes ahead of the AIG Women’s Open. There, Vu became the first American to win two majors in a season since Juli Inkster in 1999. The four-time winner follows a similar path to her first major title defense: a pair of WDs due to her back in Southeast Asia, then a T-37 in Southern California, and a T-21 at the Ford before two weeks off ahead of the Chevron.

3. Brooke Henderson 1802718901

Douglas P. DeFelice

Rolex Rankings: 12; Chevron starts: 9; Best finish: Playoff loss, 2020; ’23 Finish: T-23

The Canadian has already amassed more top-10 finishes this year than last season, earning four in her first seven starts of 2024. That run of consistency is generally a sign that the 13-time winner is close to entering the winner’s circle; Henderson last had such a stretch in the summer of 2022, when she won both the Shoprite LPGA Classic and the Amundi Evian Championship.

2. Lydia Ko

Rolex Rankings: 8; Chevron starts: 11; Best finish: Win, 2016; ’23 Finish: MC

Allergies got to Ko on her first trip to The Woodlands last year, where she missed the cut for the first time in 11 starts in the event. Bringing more allergy meds isn’t the only change for the Kiwi in 2024, as her game is much better. She already has more wins (one) and top-5s (three) in six starts than her 2023 campaign.

1. Nelly Korda

Rolex Rankings: 1; Chevron starts: 8; Best finish: Playoff loss, 2020; ’23 Finish: 3rd

Korda’s game is the dreadnought of the LPGA after winning four events in five starts, and she sits in waters to let her talents flourish. With rain in the forecast, Carlton Woods portends to be another lengthy slog, requiring plenty of carry to maximize distance off the tee. With the 2021 Women’s PGA champion’s towering ball flight, Korda remains a heavy, heavy favorite.

This article was originally published on golfdigest.com