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Korda chases fifth straight victory to tie LPGA record in Chevron Championship

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Korda chases fifth straight victory to tie LPGA record in Chevron Championship
April 17, 2024
KRISTIE RIEKEN - AP

THE WOODLANDS, Texas (AP) — Nelly Korda hasn’t really considered her place in history as she prepares to chase her fifth consecutive victory, which would tie the LPGA record, this weekend at the Chevron Championship.

“I’m so in the present that I don’t let myself think about that too much,” she said. “I feel like that just comes with a little bit more added pressure.”

She does, however, appreciate the feedback she gets from her youngest fans.

“Obviously there is nothing better to me than seeing all the little kids come out and saying that I inspire them to pick up a golf club or I’m their favorite golfer,” she said. “There is no better feeling than that. Hopefully I do get to inspire the next generation with the love that I have for the game and hopefully they have it too.”

This tournament is the first of five women’s major championships this season where Korda will try to win her first major since the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in 2021 and join Nancy Lopez (1978) and Annika Sorenstam (2004-05) as the only women to win five consecutive LPGA events.

She’ll compete against a field which includes last year’s Chevron champion Lilia Vu, who captured her first major with the victory. She was the LPGA player of the year last year after going on to win the Women’s British Open.

The 26-year-old is looking forward to defending her title in a place that she quickly became quite fond of.

“Instantly when I landed in Houston it felt very calming to me,” she said. “I felt almost sort of home. I don’t know, I just kept thinking about it. Even my parents were talking about it last night. Could be a place to consider to move.”

Vu won last year’s tournament in dramatic fashion with a birdie on the first playoff hole to outlast Angel Yin.

Vu likes the increased attention that women’s golf is getting recently because of Korda’s streak and likened it to the surge in popularity of women’s basketball because of superstar Caitlin Clark.

“She is bringing so much to the table, just win after win, just having everything together,” Vu said. “She’s done such a good job. So well liked and loved out here. She brings a big following. She’s a great person. So … she’s kind of our Caitlin Clark out here.”

It’s the second year the tournament will be held at The Club At Carlton Woods in suburban Houston after more than 50 years at Mission Hills in the California desert.

Chevron announced this week that it will remain the tournament’s title sponsor through 2029 and that the purse for this year’s event will increase to $7.9 million.

Following last year’s debut in Texas, the Jack Nicklaus Signature Course underwent renovations that affected all 18 holes. Those renovations included a new irrigation system, sand capped fairways, newly constructed bunkers moved closer to the greens and each green was rebuilt to USGA specifications.

Stacy Lewis, the 2011 Chevron champion, who grew up in The Woodlands, is impressed with the upgrades.

“All in all, I like the changes,” she said. “Made some holes a little bit more difficult ... and it’s in great shape. I think it’s very impressive how the greens have come out being brand new.”

Along with Korda and Vu, the tournament will feature Lydia Ko, who could earn a spot in the LPGA Hall of Fame with a win. Ko won the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions in January for her 20th LPGA title.

The tournament will also serve as a farewell to So Yeon Ryu, who is retiring from competitive golf after this event following 13 seasons on the LPGA Tour. She has six titles, highlighted by two majors — the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open and the 2017 title at this tournament.

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AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf

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