• Aussies on Tour: Naveed second at LPGA Ford Championship

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.

Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images


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

Subscribe to WPGA Tour Newsletter