Last year, Shin birdied the par-5 18th hole at the Evian Masters Golf Club to capture a one-stroke victory over Lexi Thompson, Morgan Pressel and Na Yeon Choi and secure her eighth career victory on the LPGA Tour. Three of Shin's eight LPGA Tour victories came in 2008 prior to her officially becoming a member of the Tour. She also won three times in her rookie year in 2009
Shin's victory at the Evian Masters last year was her first of two wins in 2010 en route to finishing the season as Rolex Rankings No. 1. Shin also won the 2010 Mizuno Classic and was just the third player, including Annika Sorenstam and Lorena Ochoa, to earn the distinction of finishing a season in the ranking's top spot. Shin has yet to capture a victory on the LPGA Tour this season.
Joining Shin in the field at the Evian Masters are 16 of the top 16 players in the Rolex Rankings. That includes Rolex Rankings No. 1 Yani Tseng, No. 2 Cristie Kerr, No. 3 Suzann Pettersen, Shin and No. 5 and the 2010 LPGA Official Money List leader Na Yeon Choi.
Tseng, who has held the top spot in the Rolex Rankings since mid-February, became the youngest player in LPGA history to capture four major titles when she won the Wegmans LPGA Championship last month. Tseng, who at 22 years, 5 months, 3 days, became the youngest golfer (male or female) to accomplish the feat since Young Tom Morris did it at age 21 in 1872.
A Global event: One look at the final field for the Evian Masters and it's not difficult to grasp the worldwide reach of this tournament. A total of 31 countries are represented in the field this week with large contingents from Korea, Japan, and the United States.
Seven former champions of the Evian Masters don the field this week. Defending champion Shin is joined by Ai Miyazato (2009 winner), Natalie Gulbis (2007), Karrie Webb (2006), Paula Creamer (2005), Juli Inkster (2003) and Laura Davies (1995 and 1996). Davies’ two victories came prior to the Evian Masters becoming an official LPGA event. When she won her two titles, the Evian Masters was still sanctioned by the LET. The tournament 18-hole record is held by Helen Alfredsson who carded a second-round 63 en route to her victory in 2008. The 72-hole record is held by Juli Inkster at 21-under par.
A total of 10 sponsor invitees will be competing at this year's Evian Masters. There are four LPGA Tour members (Mariajo Uribe, Cindy LaCrosse, Grace Park and Julieta Granada), five LET members (Maria Verchenova, Caroline Rominger, Anne Lise Caudal, Sophie Giquel and Caroline Alfonso) and one member of the WGAI in India (Sharmila Nicollet).
The winners of the second annual LPGA Global Media Awards Presented by Rolex will be named on Friday night at a special gala event at the Hotel Ermitage. A few of the top journalists and photographers will be honored for their work covering the LPGA. There are six categories (two for the written press and four for photographers). A member of the media will also be honored as the winner of the Rolex Award for Media Excellence for his or her long-time achievement in media coverage of women's professional golf. And in a new category this year, an LPGA player --chosen by a panel of prominent journalists who cover the LPGA Tour -- will be honored with the Media Appreciation Award for her excellence in working cohesively with the media on a regular basis.