01 Apr 2024 | Professional golf |

Aussies on Tour: Naveed second at LPGA Ford Championship

by Tony Webeck

Hira Naveed runner-up at Ford Championship.
Hira Naveed fought back after making the cut on the number to finish second at the LPGA Tour Ford Championship in Arizona. Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

It took world No.1 Nelly Korda to deny Australian Hira Naveed one of the greatest upsets in LPGA Tour history at the inaugural Ford Championship in Arizona.

A graduate of the LPGA Q Series in December, the West Australian was making just the second start of her rookie season and made the cut on the number courtesy of back-to-back birdies late in Round 2 at Seville Golf and Country Club.

The 26-year-old shot 7-under 65 in the third round and when she made birdie at the par-3 eighth on Sunday, joined Korda at the top of the leaderboard at 15-under par.

A bogey on nine against Korda’s birdie would create a two-shot deficit that Naveed (66) was unable to rein in, Korda (65) going on to win her third consecutive tournament by two strokes.

Although denied a maiden professional win, Naveed’s runner-up cheque for $US206,791 is more than she won in total the past four years on the Epson Tour… by $104,429.

The result all but guarantees Naveed will keep her card for the 2025 season and will ensure she can set her own schedule for the remainder of the 2024 season.

“It’s an experience for me,” said Naveed, who spent four years at Pepperdine University after coming through the Como Secondary College program in Perth.

“It’s only my second tournament of the year, so just try to enjoy it as best as I can.”

Naveed shared the final-round stage with Korda, an experience in itself will serve her well in the months ahead.

She had five of her eight career top-10 finishes on the Epson Tour last year and said being in contention prepared her for a potentially life-changing weekend in Arizona.

“She’s an amazing player. To share the stage with her is really an honour,” said Naveed.

“It was a great day. Just fell short, but, again, it’s an experience so we move on.

“I put myself in some positions last year where I was in the final groups and it is great experience.

“The Epson Tour is full of so much talent, and they’re just that one step away from the LPGA.”

At one point midway through Round 2, Hannah Green and Gabriela Ruffels were tied for the lead, Ruffels continuing her strong start with a tie for 13th, Green finishing tied for 21st.

Greg Chalmers ensured he’ll earn another start on the PGA TOUR Champions with a tie for ninth at The Galleri Classic at Rancho Mirage while Cam Davis was our best on the PGA TOUR, tied for 21st at the Texas Children’s Houston Open.


PGA TOUR Texas Children’s Houston Open Memorial Park Golf Course, Houston, Texas 1 Stephan Jaeger 69-66-66-67—268 $US1.638m T21 Cam Davis 68-71-68-67—274 $88,725 T64 Harrison Endycott 69-72-69-71—281 $19,383 T78 Ryan Fox (NZ) 71-70-73-71—285 $17,017 82 Aaron Baddeley 72-69-74-72—287 $16,471 MC Jason Day 72-70—142 MC Rhein Gibson 72-71—143

DP World Tour Hero Indian Open DLF G&CC, New Delhi, India 1 Keita Nakajima 65-65-68-73—271 €354,956.18 MC Tom Power Horan 71-73—144 MC Elvis Smylie 74-70—144 MC Haydn Barron 74-71—145 MC Kazuma Kobori (NZ) 78-71—149 MC Deyen Lawson 76-74—150 MC Sam Jones (NZ) 76-74—150 MC John Lyras 83-75—158 WD Daniel Hillier (NZ) 74 WD Andrew Martin 77 WD David Micheluzzi 75

LPGA Tour Ford Championship presented by KCC Seville Golf and Country Club, Gilbert, Arizona 1 Nelly Korda 66-68-69-65—268 $US337,500 2 Hira Naveed 68-71-65-66—270 $206,791 T13 Gabriela Ruffels 64-70-70-69—273 $30,795 T13 Lydia Ko (NZ) 69-64-70-70—273 $30,795 T21 Hannah Green 69-61-75-69—274 $23,346 T45 Karis Davidson 66-69-71-72—278 $8,620 T52 Grace Kim 66-69-70-74—279 $7,133 T56 Robyn Choi 66-72-70-72—280 $6,227 MC Stephanie Kyriacou 70-70—140 MC Sarah Kemp 69-74—143 MC Minjee Lee 68-76—144

Japan Golf Tour Token Homemate Cup Token Tado Country Club, Nagoya 1 Takumi Kanaya 67-65-64-65—261 ¥26m T35 Brendan Jones 66-65-71-73—275 ¥689,000 MC Anthony Quayle 71-70--141 MC Brad Kennedy 70-71—141 MC Michael Hendry (NZ) 70-72—142

PGA TOUR Americas Totalplay Championship Atlas Country Club, Guadalajara, Mexico 1 José de Jesús Rodríguez 68-65-67-70—270 T10 Charlie Hillier (NZ) 69-65-74-65—273 T39 Harry Hillier (NZ) 71-69-72-67—279 MC Jason Hong 72-70—142

PGA TOUR Champions The Galleri Classic Mission Hills Country Club, Rancho Mirage, California 1 Retief Goosen 66-68-69—203 $US330,000 T2 Steven Alker (NZ) 66-68-70—204 $161,333 T9 Greg Chalmers 69-70-69—208 $59,400 T26 Steve Allan 72-72-70—214 $17,527 T26 Mark Hensby 72-68-74—214 $17,527 T35 David Bransdon 72-75-68—215 $12,925 T39 Richard Green 68-77-71—216 $10,120 T55 Rod Pampling 70-77-72—219 $4,620 T60 Michael Wright 74-74-72—220 $3,630 T73 Stuart Appleby 75-78-73—226 $1,496

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