The top 25 players competing at the 2023 Chevron Championship, ranked

April 17, 2023

Change is in the air at this week’s Chevron Championship as the traditional first major of the LPGA season moves to its new home in Houston and Carlton Woods after 51 years in California’s Coachella Valley. How much of the tournament’s rich history makes the trip? And what kind of impact will the new venue have on the event’s legacy moving forward? Those are questions waiting for answers.

What isn’t changing about this year’s event is the quality of the field—and the intriguing storylines that it brings. A rare LPGA Hall of Fame berth is on the line for Lydia Ko, as a victory would allow the No. 1 player in the Rolex World Rankings to become the fifth woman to qualify since 2000, joining Annika Sorenstam, Karrie Webb, Se Ri Pak, Inbee Park and Lorena Ochoa. Only a year ago, Nelly Korda’s future in golf seemed uncertain as she was being treated for a blood clot. Now, she's back as one of the game's dominant forces. Jin Young Ko’s surprisingly out-of-character 2022 campaign started when she was a heavy favorite to win the Chevron, only to finish T-53. But after an extended break entering the 2023 season, she returned the winner’s circle for the first time in 17 starts in February and now looks poised to make another major run.

In advance of this week’s championship, we ranked the top-25 players we see as most likely to raise the Dinah Trophy at the end of the week and emerged a historic first winner in Chevron’s new home.

25: Sei Young Kim

Rolex Rankings: 32 Chevron starts: 9 Best finish: T-3, 2021

The 30-year-old South Korean has steadily fallen down the Rolex Rankings since reaching No. 2 in 2020; this coming after winning at least once every year from 2015 to 2020. But the 13-time LPGA winner can get right this week with a second career major, and a bid for the LPGA Hall of Fame remains possible. She's got two top-25s in 2023, but WD from the DIO Implant Open at the start of the month.

24: Hae Ran Ryu

Rolex Rankings: 46 Chevron starts: First

The 2022 Q-Series winner hopes to follow a similar path to Jeongeun Lee6, who won the LPGA's final qualifying tournament in 2018 and turned it into a major win at the U.S. Women’s Open the next summer as a rookie. Ryu, who finished T-13 at the 2020 U.S. Women's Open, has strung together a T-7 at the LPGA Drive On and a T-18 at the DIO Implant LA Open.

23: Lexi Thompson



Rolex Rankings: 4 Chevron starts: 13 Best finish: Win, 2014

It’s an ode to Thompson’s tantalizing talent that she’s gotten into the final group of a major each of the last two seasons. Those harrowing finishes at the 2021 U.S. Women’s Open, blowing a six-shot lead on the back nine, and the 2022 KPMG Women’s PGA, giving up a two-stroke edge to In Gee Chun with three holes to play, immediately come to mind with the 28-year-old’s challenging major history. Still, she would be higher on this list if the tournament remained at Mission Hills, as the American impressively finished in the top-10 in seven of her last nine starts at the event.

22: Natthakritta Vongtaveelap

Rolex Rankings: 86 Chevron starts: First

The 2023 rookie played her way into this week's major with a T-6 at the Lotte, just her second career LPGA start. The first came at the Honda LPGA Thailand in February off a sponsor's invite, where she also contended on Sunday. The major lights may prove too bright for the first-timer, but Vongtaveelap has been one of the strongest tour performers so far in 2023.

21: In Gee Chun

Rolex Rankings: 11 Chevron starts: 8 Best finish: T-2, 2016

When Chun wins, she likes to do it at majors; three of her four LPGA victories are of the big dog variety. Impressively returned to the winner’s circle for the first time since 2018 at last season’s KPMG Women’s PGA. The 28-year-old remains a threat to win any major, despite a MC and a WD in her previous two starts.

20: Minjee Lee


Daniel Pockett

Rolex Rankings: 4 Chevron starts: 9 Best finish: T-3, 2017

On the one hand, Lee finished in the top-five three times in majors in 2022, including a breakthrough U.S. Women's Open victory. On the other, the Australian’s stretch over the last nine appearances is disconcerting: she has yet to post a top-30 finish, including two missed cuts along the way. Hopefully, her time away from the LPGA has allowed her to reboot, as her last start was in Singapore in early March, where the Australian finished T-52 in the limited-field event.

19: Ruoning Yin

Rolex Rankings: 30 Chevron starts: First

Became just the second player from China to win an LPGA event, beating three top-10 players for her win at Palos Verdes earlier this month April. Now in her second season on tour, the 20-year-old doesn’t seem like a flash in the pan, as she has finished in the top 20 in six of her last nine starts.

18: Yuka Saso

Rolex Rankings: 31 Chevron starts: 2 Best finish: T-17, 2022

The 2021 U.S. Women's Open winner from Japan opened 2023 with two top-six finishes over three starts, and she’s now got four top-10s in her last 10, including a runner-up at the LPGA Mediheal Championship last October. However, she had to rebound from a missed cut at the DIO Implant LA Open.

17: Leona Maguire


Ramsey Cardy

Rolex Rankings: 15 Chevron starts: 4 Best finish: T-18, 2020

On the heels of an impressive 2021 Solheim Cup (4-0-1 in lifting Europe to an upset win), the Irishwoman had a breakout 2022 season in which she claimed her first LPGA title. Maguire started 2023 well, too, with a pair of top-10s, but a T-61 at Palos Verdes is her worst result since missing the cut last September.

16: Patty Tavatanakit

Rolex Rankings: 58 Chevron starts: 4 Best finish: Win, 2021

There’s something about this event that seems to connect with the 23-year-old Thai golfer. Her last top-10, before a T-3 at LA Open earlier this month, was a year ago at last season's Chevron Championship. And the year before that, she won the title. Indeed, major championships (she’s got three other top-seven finishes already) seem to bring out the best in the long bomber.

15: Maja Stark

Rolex Rankings: 26 Chevron starts: First

Stark started the 2023 season strongly, sharing runner-up at the Tournament of Champions, followed by a T-4 at the Honda LPGA Thailand. The 2022 ISPS Handa World Invitational winner, where the 23-year-old joined the LPGA last year, has been hot and cold since. She's got four top-10s alongside two missed cuts and three finishes outside the top 45. Fortunately, she's riding a T-13 at the DIO Implant LA Open into Houston.

14: Jennifer Kupcho


Katelyn Mulcahy

Rolex Rankings: 20 Chevron starts: Best finish: Win, 2022

The defending Chevron champion learned how to win at this event last year, claiming two more titles in 2022 at the DOW Great Lakes Bay Invitational Team Event and the Meijer LPGA Classic. She's quietly rounding into form since February, improving from a T-60 at the Honda LPGA Thailand to a T-25 at the DIO Implant LA Open. Kupcho's not a player who has strung together top-10s before victories, missing the cut before Chevron and posting a T-40 before Meijer.

13: Ayaka Furue

Rolex Rankings: 18 Chevron starts: 1 Best finish: T-44, 2022

The Japanese talent made her first LPGA splash with a fourth place showing at the 2021 Evian. She’s opened 2023 in peak form, with back-to-back third-place finishes in March at the HSBC Women’s World Championship and DIO Implant LA Open. It’d be an upset if she became her country’s fourth major champion ahead of Nasa Hataoka, but she's comfortable on the biggest LPGA stages.

12: Danielle Kang

Rolex Rankings: 14 Chevron starts: 11 Best finish: T-6

Despite her health woes, Kang remains a perennial force on the LPGA. The 30-year-old's new putter delivered two top-10s already in 2023. The 2017 KPMG Women's PGA winner should be in the mix on Sunday if the time at home before the Chevron allows her to get as close to fully healthy as possible.

11: Charley Hull


Tom Pennington

Rolex Rankings: 16 Chevron starts: 9 Best finish: T-2, 2016

The 27-year-old from England has a thing for Texas, winning in the Lone Star State last October at the Ascendant LPGA Volunteers of America. In her last seven starts, Hull has three top-10s and six top-25s.

10: Hyo Joo Kim

Rolex Rankings: 9 Chevron starts: 7 Best finish: T-6, 2019

The South Korean won in her first major start (2014 Evian) and has been a consistent performer ever since with eight to-10s in her last 18 starts dating back to 2019 (she skipped the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic). The 27-year-old opened 2023 with consistent form as well, posting three straight top-10s, including a T-3 at the DIO Implant LA Open. Her only demerit is her T-48 finish at last week’s Lotte Championship was disconcerting. Sitting T-3 after an opening 68, her second-round 78 was her worst score 2018.

9: Nasa Hataoka

Rolex Rankings: 13 Chevron starts: 5 Best finish: T-7, 2020

A six-time LPGA winner, Hataoka is tied with Jessica Korda and Amy Yang for most wins on tour without a major title. That said, it’s not for a lack of trying; Hataoka lost playoffs at majors twice (2018 KPMG Women’s PGA, 2021 U.S. Women’s Open) and has seven top-10s.

8: Lilia Vu


Thananuwat Srirasant

Rolex Rankings: 12 Chevron starts: 3 Best finish: T-40, 2018

Vu is the newest American winner on tour, earning her first victory at the Honda LPGA Thailand in February. The 25-year-old has finished inside the top 15 or better in all four starts this season. Returning to last July, she's finished in the top 20 in 13 of 15 starts. However, that run began following a missed cut at Evian. She’s got one top-10 in her career in majors, a T-10 at the 2022 KPMG Women’s PGA. This week serves as the first opportunity over this extended run of consistency to prove her form on the major stage.

7: Celine Boutier


Meg Oliphant

Rolex Rankings: 8 Chevron starts: 5 Best finish: T-4, 2022

It's already been an historic year for Boutier. Her third career victory at the Drive On Championship in March made her the winningest Frenchwoman to play on tour. Now, thr 29-year-old aims to become the first major champion from her homeland in 20 years since Patricia Meunier-Lebounc's 2003 victory at this tournament when it was the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

6: Lydia Ko


Michael Reaves

Rolex Rankings: 1 Chevron starts: 10 Best finish: Win, 2016

The Kiwi experienced a career renaissance in 2022 with three wins while claiming Player-of-the-Year honors, and with a victory this week, the 25-year-old would lock up the last two points needed to get into the LPGA Hall of Fame. So why rank the top player in the world so relatively low? Her only two major titles came over six years ago and while winning the Ladies European Tour’s Saudi Invitational in February, she’s had two finishes in the 30s (T-31 in Singapore and T-34 in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.) heading into Carlton Woods.

5: Brooke Henderson


Julio Aguilar

Rolex Rankings: 7 Chevron starts: 8 Best finish: T-2, 2020

The 25-year-old Canadian is one of the most consistent winning forces on tour. Since her rookie year in 2015, she's won multiple titles in a season five times, and seems on pace to make it sixth after her season-opening win at the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions. A win this week would put her over halfway to the LPGA's grand slam, as she checked off the KPMG Women's PGA in 2016 and the Evian Championship last year.

4: Jin Young Ko


Lionel Ng

Rolex Rankings: 3 Chevron starts: 6 Best finish: Win, 2019

Which Ko are we getting? Darkness of recent past injuries cloud her immense talent. Nevertheless, when healthy, the two-time major champion is a threat to win any event she enters. She's back (again) with coach Si Woo Lee, who helped engineer the swing that produced 114 consecutive bogey-free holes in her dominant four-win, two major season of 2019. In four starts in 2023, Ko’s talent has outshined any injury concerns. She's won in Singapore in March alongside a T-5 and T-6. It's time to see Ko in contention at a major again.

3: Georgia Hall


Katelyn Mulcahy

Rolex Rankings: 10 Chevron starts: 6 Best finish: T-13, 2022

While she has yet to win in 2023—and surprisingly has just two titles in her six-year LPGA career—the former British Women’s Open champ has been the most consistent player on tour, with two runners-up and four top-10s in five starts. And the 27-year-old’s other start? Well T-14 at the HSBC Women’s World Championship is still pretty solid. Suffice it to say, the Englishwoman look to be on the precipice of her next breakthrough.

2: Nelly Korda


Jared C. Tilton

Rolex Rankings: 2 Chevron starts: 7 Best finish: T-2, 2020

Korda salvaged an up-and-down 2022 campaign, that included a significant health scare from a blot clot, by winning in November at the Pelican Women’s Championship. It felt like a formal turn of the page for the nine-time tour winner, who has four top-six results in five starts so far in 2023, including a runner-up finish in Singapore to Jin Young Ko.

1: Atthaya Thitikul


Yoshimasa Nakano

Rolex Rankings: 4 Chevron starts: 2 Best finish: T-17, 2022

The 20-year-old Thai impressed in her rookie LPGA season, winning twice and rising to World No. 1 if only for a two-week stretch. It speaks to the impressive talent and potential that she possesses. In her last 11 starts, she’s got 10 top-10s and a T-16). She also finished in the top 10 in her last three major starts—fourth at the KPMG Women’s PGA, T-8 at Evian, and T-7 at the AIG Women’s Open. It’s Thitikul’s time for the next step in her career: become the third Thai to win a major title alongside Ariya Jutanugarn and Patty Tavatanakit.