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|
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:
|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:
|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.
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).