Rising star of the LET made LPGA debut — Paige Crawford’s second LPGA start — Must-click women’s golf links
The IX: Golf Thursday with Addie Parker, June 15, 2023
Happy Golf Thursday! About a month ago, I was doing my morning scroll on Instagram (it’s my version of reading the paper) and I saw a swing video. At first glance, it looked like Nelly Korda — but upon further inspection, I realized it wasn’t Korda, but rather someone who favors her stature and mannerisms quite well on the LET Tour.
Chiara Noja is a 17-year-old from Berlin, Germany, and while she’s wrapping up her school year she’s also in the running for the 2023 Race to Costa Del Sol rankings for LET Player of the Year. Last year, she won her first LET event at the Aramco Team Series event in Jeddah, defeating Charley Hull in a two-hole playoff. Noja finished runner-up a couple of weeks ago at the Belgian Ladies Open and has seven top-15 finishes so far on the LET this season.
After her incredible success across the pond, Noja traveled to the U.S. to make her LPGA debut at the ShopRite LPGA Classic. She joins the likes of Brooke Henderson, Lexi Thompson, and Paula Creamer — who all make their LPGA debuts at ShopRite as sponsorship exemptions.
Noja was born to play. She stands at 6 feet tall, averages about 295 yards off the tee, and she’s not afraid to try and fail.
“I’ve worked hard over a lot of years now to be able to not back out of shots and commit to everything that I do and not be afraid to fail.”Chiara Noja
At age 3, she was introduced to the game. By age 12 she was already a scratch golfer, and at 13 she made her professional debut as an amateur while being No. 1 in the European rankings for her age group.
Her mentality carried her through last week and she had a more than impressive showing at ShopRite. She managed to go 68-67-70 to go 8-under par and a T-12 finish!
She’s back in Germany (she lives and goes to school in Dubai) for the Amundi German Masters. To follow that tournament, head down to links for the details!
The future of women’s golf is in such wonderful hands, and we’ll definitely be adding Noja to the plentiful list of players to watch over the next several years.
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This week in women’s golf
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Before the tour goes back-to-back with major championships, they are teeing off in Belmont, Michigan at the Meijer LPGA Classic. Here are all the related links so you stay in the know and up to date!
- How to Watch the 2023 Meijer LPGA Classic
- Field Breakdown: Meijer LPGA Classic
- Featured Groups
- Five things to know about the Meijer LPGA Classic
- Know the course — Blythefield Country Club in Belmont
- Defending Champion Kupcho, hopes to continue bounceback at Blythefield CC
Other LPGA news!!!
Epson Tour News
The LPGA is growing!
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Five at The IX: Paige Crawford’s just trying to have fun
The former Montana State golfer won the John Shippen National Invitational last week at Blythefield Country Club in Belmont, Michigan. Crawford’s win gave her exemptions into this week’s Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give and next week’s Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational.
THE MODERATOR: What a time for you, and now to be here at another LPGA Tour event. You not only get an exemption into this week, but then looking ahead to the Dow event also in Michigan. Just what does the John Shippen and these opportunities you’ve been able to earn mean to you?
PAIGE CRAWFORD: John Shippen, these opportunities are amazing. I’m so grateful for the John Shippen. They are my favorite tournaments. I appreciate them getting Black girls out here to play golf, exposing us to the top level, playing really nice courses, getting these sponsor exemptions. I’m glad that the Meijer gave a sponsor exemption to the John Shippen.
It’s an amazing experience. It’s life changing for us. We don’t get these opportunities often, and so I’m just so grateful for them. This never would’ve happened without the John Shippen.
Q. Starting there, as somebody who maybe has younger girls that will look up to you and see you playing this week, especially as a woman of color, what does it mean to be a role model for them a little bit? Not putting pressure on you, but just saying there is a space for women of color in golf.
PAIGE CRAWFORD: Yeah, I definitely think there is a space and it’s going to keep growing for us. We’re going to see more and more women of color playing golf now I think. We’re breaking barriers and getting more opportunities, so it’s just really exciting.
I’m very grateful that we’re actually playing golf now and continue to play after high school and college and professionally, too.
So I’m really happy about it.
THE MODERATOR: We learned a lot about you at the Cognizant Founders Cup, a lot about your story and what you are trying to accomplish with your journey here. What did you take from your first LPGA Tour appearance in Jersey?
PAIGE CRAWFORD: Yeah, there was a lot to take away. Just learning the ropes on the LPGA. It’s so different from playing mini tour events by far.
Honestly, just keep playing, just keep learning. Working on the short game I think is very key definitely. They’re really good at short game out here.
And just playing a really nice course is really nice. I just enjoyed the week so much. It was an amazing experience and I will never forget about it.
Q. Do you have any goals for yourself for this weekend? I’m sure you would like to make the cut.
PAIGE CRAWFORD: Yes.
Q. Is there a certain part of your game maybe that you’ve really have been working on or that you want to continue to work on throughout this weekend?
PAIGE CRAWFORD: Yeah, I definitely want to make the cut. That’s definitely a goal mine. Definitely short game. I’m a public golf course player, so I don’t get to play really fast greens and deep rough often.
So definitely putting and short game, chipping around the greens, I definitely want to do better this week in that area.
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