Hall, Korda confident ahead of Chevron Championship

US standout Kupcho will defend her crown as LPGA's first major moves to Texas this year

AFP April 19, 2023


World number two Nelly Korda and LPGA prize money leader Georgia Hall both said Tuesday they were confident heading into the year's first major tournament, the Chevron Championship.

US standout Jennifer Kupcho defends crown she won last year on a much-different layout, as the event shifts this year from Southern California desert to the Jack Nicklaus Signature course at Carlton Woods in suburban Houston, near the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

"I think the biggest thing is probably the length of the golf course. It's really long," Kupcho said. "We're going to have a lot of long irons into the par-4s and the greens are definitely a lot trickier versus in the desert.

"It's going to be a lot windier. Texas is generally windy, though, so you expect that. The humidity, the ball doesn't quite go as far here as in the desert, so that contributes to the length."

It promises a major challenge for England's 10th-ranked Hall and US standout Korda, who each have four top-10 finishes in five LPGA starts this year.

Hall said she felt good.

"In the US, it's definitely the most comfortable that I've felt," she said.

"It's the best I've been playing. I'm number one on the money list. I've never been this comfortable, I think, before a major."

Korda, who snuck in a visit to the final round of the Masters and some practice time last week, said she feels like she's playing well but not yet shown her best shotmaking.

"It's positive and negative that I'm playing well and I don't think that I've had my best stuff yet," Korda said. "So hopefully I can continue working on my game and peak in the right moments.

"When I'm really not hitting it well, then I'm putting and my short game is pretty on point. I've been kind of lucky to miss in areas where it's better to miss."

Reigning Olympic champion Korda, the 2021 Women's PGA Championship winner, was fourth at the Tournament of Champions, sixth at Thailand and a runner-up in Singapore before sharing fifth last month in Los Angeles.

"I practiced all of last week, just getting into playing mode, tightening up some loose ends," Korda said. "Tried to get into playing mode this week."

Hall, the 2018 British Women's Open champion, shared 10th at her season debut in Thailand and 14th at Singapore and was a runner-up twice last month at Superstition Mountain and the Los Angeles Open before sharing sixth last week in Hawaii.

"I've never played well in Asia since I've come out on tour. To me that was a big, 'Wow, OK, I'm playing better than normal'," Hall said.

"Then obviously the first events in the US, being in contention both times, shooting 7-under and 4-under on the final Sunday, gives me a lot of confidence that I can push and shoot a low score to win.

"I think I've got a lot of low rounds in me and hopefully they can come out this week."

Not having a victory is not a worry for Hall just yet.

"I would have loved to have at least one win sitting here right now," Hall said. "It gives me a lot of confidence.

"All the great players come second a lot, so I've just got to stay patient, hopefully a lot more golf to be played, and get a couple wins this year."


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