Stats and Stuff: Evian Masters

Ai Miyazato
Photo Credit: Stuart Franklin

Ai Miyazato of Japan celebrates during the final round of the Evian Masters at the Evian Masters golf club on July 23, 2011 in Evian-les-Bains, France.

July 24 2012, Ward Clayton

Evian’s major moves for 2013

This week’s Evian Masters will display some of the myriad changes upcoming for the LPGA’s only visit to continental Europe. The Evian Masters Golf Club is showing a portion of the course changes that will be fully in place in time for the debut of The Evian in September 2013.

That’s when the Evian Masters becomes The Evian, the LPGA’s fifth major championship for its September 12-15, 2013 transformation. The Evian will be the final major on the calendar, following (in order) the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the Wegmans LPGA Championship, U.S. Women’s Open and RicohWomen’s British Open. The date change is two months later than the normal mid-summer dates since the tournament debuted in 1994.

It will mark the first time that the LPGA has five majors in a season; the Champions Tour (formerly Senior PGA Tour for male players age 50-over) also has five.

Here’s list of LPGA Tour major championships over the years:

Kraft Nabisco Championship 1983-Current
U.S. Women's Open 1950-Current
Ricoh Women's British Open 2001-Current
du Maurier Classic 1979-2000
Titleholders 1937-42, 46-66, 1972
Women's Western Open 1930-67
The Evian 2013-

 

Welcome to France

The LPGA’s history of playing a tournament in France dates back to 1990 when Cathy Gerring won the Trophee Urban World Championship at Cely Golf Club in Paris. The Evian Masters began in 1994 and became a part of the LPGA schedule in 2000.     

Here are the official LPGA tournaments held in France:

Dates Tournament Site Winner
October 11-14, 1990 Trophee Urban World Championship  Cely GC, Paris Cathy Gerring
June 14-17, 2000  Evian Masters   Royal Golf Club Evian, Evian-les-Bains Annika Sorenstam
June 13-16, 2001 Evian Masters Evian Masters Golf Club, Evian-les-Bains Rachel Teske
June 12-15, 2002 Evian Masters Evian Masters Golf Club, Evian-les-Bains Annika Sorenstam
July 23-26, 2003 Evian Masters Evian Masters Golf Club, Evian-les-Bains Juli Inkster
July 21-24, 2004  Evian Masters Evian Masters Golf Club, Evian-les-Bains Wendy Doolan
July 20-23, 2005 Evian Masters Evian Masters Golf Club, Evian-les-Bains Paula Creamer
July 26-29, 2006  Evian Masters Evian Masters Golf Club, Evian-les-Bains Karrie Webb
July 26-29, 2007  Evian Masters Evian Masters Golf Club, Evian-les-Bains Natalie Gulbis
July 24-27, 2008  Evian Masters Evian Masters Golf Club, Evian-les-Bains Helen Alfredsson
July 23-26, 2009  Evian Masters Evian Masters Golf Club, Evian-les-Bains Ai Miyazato
July 22-25, 2010  Evian Masters Evian Masters Golf Club, Evian-les-Bains Jiyai Shin
July 21-24, 2011   Evian Masters Evian Masters Golf Club, Evian-les-Bains Ai Miyazato

 

Changes to Evian course

This year’s Evian Masters will display Part I of a two-year plan to transform the Evian Masters course. Work began in September 2011 on the tees and irrigation system and altered some holes and will continue in mid-September when the course closes for the remainder of the work with a scheduled completion in July 2013. Three international architects, Jeremy Slessor (Great Britain), Dave Sampson (South Africa) and Steve Smyers (United States), are leading the redesign effort.

Here are some of the changes for this week’s event:

No. 1: The tee has been moved back and some trees removed to open up the tee shot a bit more.

No. 2: The tee has been moved back to gain a bigger view of the entire green.

No. 9: This long par 5 is now even longer.

No. 14: This hole has been lengthened but the “bowl” in front of the green has been retained.

An exciting finish

The Evian Masters has a dramatic finish, with a 477-yard par 5 that is reachable in two shots. The dogleg right requires players to navigate a creek that fronts the green and a large bunker that guards the right and back of the undulating putting surface. The hole will play a pivotal role again this week as history dictates. Since becoming an official LPGA event in 2000, the Evian Masters has finished with a one-stroke victory margin or a playoff in eight of the 12 tournaments. That includes sudden-death playoffs on four occasions.

Here are the playoffs that have determined the champion since 2000:

Year Winner Runner-up
2000 Annika Sorenstam Karrie Webb
2007 Natalie Gulbis Jeong Jang
2008 Helen Alfredsson Na Yeon Choi, Angela Park
2009 Ai Miyazato Sophie Gustafson

 

Mika Miyazato closing on first win

There have been four first-time winners this year (Jessica Korda, Azahara Munoz, Shanshan Feng and Brittany Lang). So the trend has been established – and with Mika Miyazato’s recent performances, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see her name added to the list.

Miyazato, a 22-year-old from Okinawa, Japan, has finished T3, T2, T2 and T7 in her last four starts, with two of those major championships (T2 at Wegmans LPGA Championship and T7 at the U.S. Women’s Open). Miyazato also leads the LPGA in Driving Accuracy (83.8 percent), which is important this week on a short, tight course at the Evian Masters.

Where are the lefties?

There are currently no left-handed women’s players on the LPGA. It has been 38 years since the first and only left-hander won on the LPGA. Bonnie Bryant won the Bill Branch LPGA Classic at Lachmoor Country Club in Ft. Myers, Fla., from Nov. 15-17, 1974 to become the only left-handed LPGA winner.

Etc.

Evian-les-Bains, France is located in eastern France, on the border with Switzerland at Lake Geneva. Evian-les-Bains is six hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time in the United States. … The Golf Channel coverage will be taped in the first through third rounds with the final round on Sunday, July 29 live (6-11 a.m.). … South Korea has the most players in the Evian Masters field (30), followed by the United States (26), France, Australia, Sweden and England (six each).

Topics: Stats and Stuff, The Evian Championship

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