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Golf: Previous winners primed to strike in California

The first major championship of 2022 is already upon us as all eyes will be on the women's circuit this week.

The newly renamed Chevron Championship will take place at Mission Hills in California for the final time before the event moves to a new venue in 2023.

With an emotional goodbye expected, the stakes have got a little higher this week as Thailand's Patty Tavatanakit defends her title.

Ko's form too good to overlook

The previous ten major winners on the women's circuit have come as a surprise, with 50 per cent of them all available at 100/1 or higher before the first tee.

While the optimistic punter will want a similar result, Jin Young Ko looks the main danger ahead of the first major of 2022.

The 26-year-old is arguably in the form of her life, and even at 5/1, punters may get a run for their money.

She has won six of her previous 12 starts; in eight of those events, she was within the top three before the start of the last round.

Ko has ranked top four for greens in regulation in seven of her last 10 outings, and it looks like she will be right in the mix when the final round gets underway.

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Korda's absence can help former champion

KPMG PGA Championship and Olympic winner Nelly Korda will sadly play no part in this week's event as she recovers from a blood clot.

Korda would have been second favourite for the event, but her absence means that Lydia Ko is now available at odds of 12/1.

Both Lydia Ko and Jin-young Ko have won the tournament before, but the former's last win came in 2016.

That was her last major success, but the return to one of her favourite venues could prove the ideal tonic for the New Zealander.

Recent winners may have their say

The LPGA campaign has been relentless of late, and Denmark's Nanna Koerstz Madsen is one player that seems to have thrived on the chaos.

The 27-year-old won the Honda LPGA Thailand event earlier this month, making history as the first Dane to win an LPGA event.

She then followed that up last week when she finished second at the JTBC Classic in San Diego.

Madsen finished third at Mission Hills in 2021, and with her confidence at an all-time high, she looks great value at 25/1.

England's Georgia Hall is another who comes into the event in good form, having won the Saudi Ladies International by five shots this month.

She has finished no worse than 26th in her three appearances on the LPGA in 2022, and the Bournemouth native believes she can find the winning formula at 40/1.

At 5/1, Danielle Kang could give punters a run for their money with a top-five finish, especially as her form seems to have picked up of late.

Kang has three top-10 finishes in five events this season, and she could be in a prime position to put pressure on those at the front of the market.

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