English Amateur Woad Shines In Major Debut As She Chases Korda At The Chevron

English amateur Lottie Woad's fairytale continued at the Chevron Championship as she's hot on the heels of Nelly Korda after two rounds

Lottie Woad
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Following in Ludvig Aberg's footsteps, English amateur Lottie Woad is challenging in her very first Major as she chases Nelly Korda heading into the weekend at the Chevron Championship.

Woad booked her spot in the first Major of the year by winning the Augusta National Women's Amateur just before The Masters, and she's taking full advantage.

Just like Aberg, although she's still an amateur, Woad has made a sparkling Major debut, following up an opening 71 with a second round 69 to sit on four under for the tournament.

That puts Woad just three shots behind Nelly Korda - as the World No.1 chases a record-equalling fifth tournament victory in a row.

It's an incredible performance already from Woad, not just because she's an amateur and only 20 years old, but also due to the late notice of booking her spot in Texas.

Woad was due to be playing in the ACC conference championship and preparing for her upcoming finals at Florida State this week, but is instead making her Major debut and chasing down the very best in the business.

"It's definitely been a whirlwind," Woad said after her round. "Kind of didn't really have a chance to let Augusta sink in really. Was just coming here straightaway.

"I found out kind of on the Sunday when the Chevron was, and I think I had until Tuesday at 5:00 pm to say whether I was playing. I first had to check with Florida State because they're playing the ACC championship right now. I haven't even had time to check the score yet, but I hope they're doing well.

"My aim was to make the weekend. I'm in a good position now so I am just going to keep trying to move up. I'm just going to use that experience I had playing in front of people on the big stages.

"I'm going to see how close I can get and keep trying to contend. I just want to continue how I'm playing and if I can be around the lead on Sunday, that would be pretty cool.

No amateur has won a women's Major championship since France's Catherine Lacoste at the 1967 US Women's Open but Woad is keen not to let herself get carried away after a hectic few weeks.

Korda is looking to become just the third woman to win five in a row, following greats Nancy Lopez and Annika Sorenstam.

But she had to work hard on Friday after starting the day with a double bogey, then reeling off six birdies to card a second-round 69 to sit on seven under.

"I'm just at the halfway point right now," said Korda. "The amount of golf that I've played, I still have that to go. There is still a lot of golf left and anything can happen.

"Just going to stick to my process and vibe with it is what my coach says.

"It takes a lot of patience to win. At the end of the day the person that makes the least amount of mistakes or recovers the best from their mistakes ends up usually winning."

Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.