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the chevron championship drives opportunity for women

2 min read | april 24, 2024

Syna Nijhawan, a junior golfer from Houston, Texas, tees off at The Chevron Championship Junior Legacy Pro-Am.

At 16, Syna Nijhawan is a rising star in the junior golf circuit. In a striking display of skill, she and her team recently took home second place in the Junior Legacy Pro-Am tournament ahead of The Chevron Championship—the first of five major events in the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour.

But Nijhawan’s impressive talent is just one facet of her success. The Carnegie Vanguard High School sophomore from Houston, Texas, is a champion for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) with dreams of studying neuroscience in college.

“Science is in every aspect of the golf game,” she said. “There’s an action and a reaction. There’s physics in the swing and in the putt. Everyone can be involved in STEM.”

By teeing up a strong balance of athletics and academics, Nijhawan aims to inspire other young women to pursue their dreams both on and off the course.

“When I’m playing with the other girls out on the course, I continue to praise my peers. If you support one another, you get the best version of yourself.”

syna nijhawan
junior golfer

breaking barriers

Nijhawan picked up her first golf club at six years old. The following year, she was the only girl to play in a competitive coed division. That’s also when she met her first challenge.

“I heard a parent say to their son, ‘You’re losing to a girl,’” Nijhawan recalled. “When I asked my parents what that meant, they told me that playing golf was something bigger than myself. It was an opportunity to represent all girls.”

Today, Nijhawan is doing just that. By blogging about her conversations with golf experts, mentoring and coaching for First Tee and joining the board of directors for the LPGA*USGA Girls Golf, she helps young girls build skills and grow confidence.

“A golf club and a golf ball do not know the gender of the player,” Nijhawan tells aspiring golfers. “So just go be your best.”

game changer

In its second year in the Greater Houston area, The Chevron Championship focused on STEM education, women’s excellence, diversity and inclusion.

During the Junior Legacy Pro-Am, 20 local junior female golfers played alongside some of the greatest players in LPGA history. For Nijhawan, the media day event offered an incredible opportunity to golf with her childhood role model, two-time LPGA major winner, Stacy Lewis.

Syna Nijhawan, junior golfer
Syna Nijhawan, junior golfer
Syna Nijhawan and Marissa Badenhorst

The Chevron Championship was hosted April 18–21 at The Club at Carlton Woods, north of Houston, Texas. The tournament welcomed 132 players from around the world.

driving access

While advancements for women in sports are being made, Nijhawan acknowledges that there is still work to be done.

“We need to create more media coverage, equal pay and showcase the stories of the legends,” she said. “The Chevron Championship’s commitment to women’s golf is evident from their time, effort and energy. They want to see women’s golf be successful and elevate the platform.”

Prior to the tournament, Chevron and the LPGA announced its extended partnership through 2029. Chevron also increased this year’s prize purse to $7.9 million, up from $3.1 million when the company signed on as title sponsor in 2021.

making history

As for the results of The Chevron Championship tournament, Nelly Korda scored a 13-under to claim the major title. And in doing so, Korda became just the third LPGA golfer in history to win five consecutive tournament starts. She earned $1.2 million in prize money for her first-place finish.

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