5 compelling ways the Chevron Championship could end, ranked

nelly korda smiles as she walks with her caddie during the third round of the chevron championship

The Chevron Championship will conclude on Sunday in Texas.

Getty Images

If you thought major championship golf was done for the month after the Masters, think again. The ladies are competing in their first major of the season — the Chevron Championship — in Texas this week.

Saturday was cut short as thunderstorms rolled through the area and forced officials to suspend play for the day with Atthaya Thitikul sitting atop the leaderboard through 12 holes in her third round. Two-time major champ Brooke Henderson is a shot back after going eight under through 17 holes in Round 3, while Nelly Korda — seeking her fifth straight win — is right along side her.

With the leaders still needing to complete their back nine on Sunday morning, there are eight players within six shots of the lead. So, who has the best shot to claim the title in Texas? And which scenario would be the most compelling? We break it all down below.

5. Lauren Coughlin shocks the world

Lauren Coughlin talks with her caddie at the Chevron Championship.
Lauren Coughlin has a chance to shock the world. Jack Hirsh/GOLF

Lauren Coughlin is your prototypical grinder. She’s played on the LPGA Tour since 2018 and has improved every year. She made just four cuts during her rookie season, and netted only $12,625 to lose her card. She got status back in 2021 and has been on an upward trajectory ever since. Last year she finished 76th on the points list, and this season she’s up to 69th. If she were to win in Texas, she’d shoot up the standings.

That’ll be easier said than done. Although Coughlin was the first-round overnight leader, as the tournament has progressed, the cream has risen to the top. She’s still T5 through 13 holes in Round 3, but the big names have overtaken her on the board. She’ll be three behind Thitikul’s lead as she tees off Sunday morning and will need the day of her life to keep pace.

Still, though, the opportunity is there. Coughlin has obviously found something in her game that’s working this week and she’s right in the thick of it heading into Sunday. Can she shock the world with her first LPGA win on the biggest stage?

4. Hae Ran Ryu officially arrives

hae ran ryu swings during the third round of the 2024 chevron championship
Can Hae Ran Ryu follow up on her Rookie of the Year campaign with a major title? Getty Images

Hae Ran Ryu played her first season on the LPGA Tour last year and promptly won Rookie of the Year honors. She had six top 10s, three top 5s and notched a win at the NW Arkansas Wal Mart Championship, all while competing in America full time for the very first time.

For those who knew her from her days competing in Korea, this came as no surprise. On the Korean LPGA, she also won Rookie of the Year honors (in 2020) and won five times in three seasons. Now a full time LPGA-er, Ryu looks ready to take the next step.

That next step could come as soon as Sunday. Ryu is T5 at eight under mid-way through her third round and will enter the tournament’s final day three off Thitikul’s lead. Can she get past some of the game’s biggest stars for her first major title? If she does, she’ll officially be the next big women’s golf star from South Korea.

3. Atthaya Thitikul takes the next step

atthaya thitikul swings
Atthaya Thitikul is positioned to take the next step at the Chevron Championship. Getty Images

Atthaya Thitikul is just 21 years old, but she’s already got one heck of a CV. She won Vare Trophy in 2023 (low scoring average) and the year before was Rookie of the Year. In 2021, she was Ladies European Tour Player of the Year — at the age of 19(!). Thitikul’s talent is undeniable; all that’s left is taking the leap into superstardom.

Sunday represents a prime opportunity to do just that. Through three days of play, Thitikul’s name sits alone atop the leaderboard in Texas. The only thing that stands in her way are two of the best players in the world in Korda and Henderson. If Thitikul is to win on Sunday, she’ll join Ariya Jutanugarn as the only other golfer (male or female) from Thailand to win a major championship.

Does Thitikul has what it takes to become women’s golf’s next big star? We’re about to find out.

2. Brooke Henderson nabs major No. 3

Brooke Henderson chipping
Brooke Henderson is searching for major win No. 3. Getty Images

Brooke Henderson has been a staple in women’s golf since she burst onto the scene at the age of 17. In the time since, she’s won 13 LPGA Tour events, two majors and become Canada’s most accomplished professional golfer.

Heading into Saturday at the Chevron, Henderson didn’t look like she would be adding to that legacy this week. Through 36 holes, she was just two under and well off the pace set by the leaders. But on Saturday, she flipped the switch.

Henderson took the field by storm in Round 3 as she made seven birdies and an eagle (against one bogey) to get to eight under through 17 holes and one stroke off the lead. Now, she’s in prime position to add to her legacy with major win No. 3.

1. Nelly Korda continues her dominance

Nelly Korda
Nelly Korda is looking to become the next face of women’s golf. Getty Images

There was no bigger story heading into the week than Nelly Korda. With wins in her previous four starts, she was finally displaying the dominance that matched her potential. And with a major in her sights, the timing was perfect to add to her unreal run.

It’s been mission accomplished thus far. Korda has been steady all week with rounds of 68 and 69 to sit one back of the lead heading into the weekend, and she’s three under through 11 holes in Round 3 to sit one back of the lead.

Korda has long been thought of as the next face of women’s golf, but the productivity has never quite matched up with her potential. She’s begun to shed that reputation with her red-hot run to start 2024, but a win at the Chevron would cement her place atop the women’s game. Does she have what it takes?

Zephyr Melton

Golf.com Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for GOLF.com where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with the Texas Golf Association, Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf. He can be reached at zephyr_melton@golf.com.