2012 Evian Masters Presented by Société Générale Second Round Notes and Interviews

Evian Masters Presented by Société Générale
Evian Golf Club
Evian-les-Bains, France

July 27, 2012
Second-round Notes and Interviews

Stacy Lewis -12, Rolex Rankings No. 3
Ilhee Lee -11, Rolex Rankings No. 123
Paula Creamer -9, Rolex Rankings No. 13
Inbee Park -9, Rolex Rankings No. 21
Mika Miyazato -8, Rolex Rankings No. 17
Cheyenne Woods, -4, Sponsor Exemption
Karine Icher -2, Rolex Rankings No. 61


Rolex Rankings No. 2 Stacy Lewis continued her impressive play on Friday to take a one-shot lead over Ilhee Lee at the Evian Masters Presented by Société Générale. Lewis, who held the first-round lead after tying the tournament record with a career-best round of 9-under-par 63, followed up with a 3-under-par 69 on Friday to move to 12-under-par 132 for the week. In position for her third LPGA victory of the 2012 season and fourth overall, Lewis is also seeking valuable points in the Rolex Player of the Year race, which she currently leads.

“Today was actually a little bit more of a struggle for me,” Lewis said. “I wasn't really sure how I would play coming off a good score yesterday.  It's hard when you make pars and you feel like you're going backwards because of all the birdies I made yesterday. It wasn't the best, but I made two birdies late and fought through it.”

Lewis, who was 4-under-par on the par 5’s today, recorded three birdies, two bogies and one eagle at the seventh hole. On Thursday, the 27-year-old was bogey free with nine birdies, including seven consecutive between holes five and 11.

The native Texan has nine top-10 finishes this season including victories at the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic and the ShopRite LPGA Classic. She leads the Rolex Player of the Year race with 129 points, just nine points ahead of two-time, back-to-back winner Yani Tseng. Lewis is fourth in 2012 LPGA Official Money List with $941,860.

Paula Creamer, who played alongside Lewis for the first 36 holes and is currently in third place, discussed what it’s like to tee it up with someone playing with a lot of confidence.

“That's the nice thing, when you can play with a player that's playing well,” she said. “We haven't played a ton this year together, but when you do play with somebody that has a lot of the momentum, it helps you just as much.


Ilhee Lee is brimming with confidence and her play at the Evian Masters is proving it. The 23-year-old South Korean is just one-shot off the pace of leader Stacy Lewis following rounds of 66 and 67 this week. Lee, who gained entrance into the Evian Masters field with a career-best tie for fourth at the U.S Women’s Open, can now focus on small goals, rather than the larger goal of retaining her LPGA card for 2013.

“This event feels like (a) bonus,” Lee said. “Before the U.S. Open, it (was) way different.”

Lee has made six of 10 cuts this year with $157,128 in earnings. This week, it’s her putter that has her in contention for another top-10… or better. On Thursday, Lee needed just 22 putts and today, 27.

Watch out for the former champion! It’s been a little over two years since Paula Creamer last won on the LPGA Tour but the 25-year-old might be on her way to getting back in the winner’s circle at a familiar venue.

Creamer shot a 5-under 67 in Friday’s second round to move into a T3 at 9-under-par and sits three shots behind leader Stacy Lewis. Creamer, who last won at the 2010 U.S. Women’s Open, is a former champion at the Evian Masters. She won here at the Evian Golf Club in 2005 and this year, she did something that she also did the year she won that title.

“I went over to Lausanne witzerlan the other day,” Creamer said.  It's my second time there.  I went actually the year I won and wanted to go back over.  I wanted to go to the Olympic Village but it was closed. But still it's a beautiful place over there.  Really just trying different kinds of foods and trying to embrace the culture over here.”

Creamer seems to like the French “joie de vivre” and it seems to suit her golf game as well.

“I only missed two greens today, which is a lot better than yesterday,” Creamer said. “One of my strengths in my game is irons and just giving myself opportunities, and today I kind of took advantage of that and made some good putts and also left some out there. It will be an exciting weekend, that's for sure.  Hopefully the weather holds off for us, too.”

Sponsor exemption Cheyenne Woods made her first professional cut today at the Evian Masters. The 23-year-old Wake Forest University graduate is 4-under-par 140 in a tie for 18th through 36 holes of play in her third-ever LPGA tournament.

“I'm so excited,” Woods said. “It feels so good, one, to be out here in France, and then to play so well and finally make a cut.”

Woods is not a member of the LPGA, but plans to enter the LPGA Qualifying Tournament later this season. The niece of Tiger Woods, she has played two other LPGA events, the most recent being the Wegmans LPGA Championship where she missed the cut.

Inbee Park is no stranger to playing in the Evian Masters, as she’s competing for the fifth time in the event this year. But Park said that the big difference in her play this year is that she’s finally starting to get a feel for the tricky greens here at the Evian Golf Club.

Park fired the low round of the day in Friday’s second round, posting an 8-under 64 to vault into a T3 with Paula Creamer at 9-under-par. Park fell just one stroke shy of the course record, which leader Stacy Lewis tied on Thursday.

After posting a score that was seven strokes lower than her opening round, Park was asked what was the biggest difference for her between the two days.

“It was the par‑5s that cost me yesterday because I have made three bogeys on the par‑5s Turay,” Park said. “Well, I was going for it, and most of the time it gave me a lot of trouble.  I tried to play a little bit more conservatively today on the par‑5s, and that really worked out well.”

Everybody’s working for the weekend…A total of 75 players made the cut, which fell at 2-over-par 146


Looking ahead to 2013…This week marks the final time that the Evian Masters will be played under its current title but there is plenty of excitement building here for next year when the event moves to September and becomes “The Evian,” which will make it the fifth and final major on the LPGA Tour’s schedule.

On Friday morning, tournament director Jacques Bungert and Evian Masters chairman Franck Riboud held a press conference to chat about some of the changes that will be occurring leading up to next year’s transition to a major. That includes an overhaul of the golf course which will begin in September as well as some additions, such as adding another segment of the Junior Cup for players Under-17 beginning likely in 2014. But one thing about the event they hope remains the same.

“We want to keep the same spirit,” Riboud said. “It's not because we are a major that we are going to, I don't care.  No, no.  We will keep exactly the same spirit for this tournament, the spirit you can feel during the party, the spirit you can feel during the soccer match.

“So don't ask us everything for next year, but we will continue to improve the quality of the tournament globally.”

Of Note…Defending champion Ai Miyazato fired a 2-under 70 in the second round and is tied for 26th at 3-under-par…Rolex Rankings No. 1 Yani Tseng’s struggles continued this week.She missed her second cut of the season, following up an opening-round 76 with a 71 to finish at 3-over-par and miss the cut by a stroke…Karine Icher is the leading Frenchwoman in the field after two rounds of play. Icher shot even-par 72 on Friday and sits in a tie for 41st at 2-under-par…


Quotable: “We are not there to make profit with The Evian.  We just want to build the future of golf.  And not only French golf, all golf. – Franck Riboud, Evian Masters Chairman

STACY LEWIS, Rolex Rankings No. 3
PAULA CREAMER, Rolex Rankings No. 13

MODERATOR:  Welcome to the 2012 Evian Masters.  We're doing something a little bit different here.  We thought we would bring in two players who have played the last 36 holes together:  Stacy Lewis, who is tied for the lead, and Paula Creamer, who is tied for third right now.

Stacy, we'll start with you as a co‑leader.  Obviously you're playing great.  You have been playing great all year.  What went right for you today?

STACY LEWIS:  Today was actually a little bit more of a struggle for me.  I wasn't really sure how I would play coming off a good score yesterday.  It's hard when you make pars and you feel like you're going backwards because of all the birdies I made yesterday.

It wasn't the best, but I made two birdies late and fought through it.  Pretty happy today.

MODERATOR:  Paula, obviously a fantastic shot there on 18 to close the day.  You crept up the leaderboard all day and put yourself in a great position.  You're a past champion here, so a lot of great feelings.  Take us through year day.

PAULA CREAMER:  I only missed two greens today, which is a lot better than yesterday.  One of my strengths in my game is irons and just giving myself opportunities, and today I kind of took advantage of that and made some good putts and also left some out there.

It will be an exciting weekend, that's for sure.  Hopefully the weather holds off for us, too.

MODERATOR:  What's the best thing you've done here this week in Evian Masters ‑ aside from your golf game?

PAULA CREAMER:  I went over to Lausanne the other day.  It's my second time there.  I went actually the year I won and wanted to go back over.  I wanted to go to the Olympic Village but it was closed.

But still it's a beautiful place over there.  Really just trying different kinds of foods and trying to embrace the culture over here.

MODERATOR:  Stacy, you've been having a great year; you've got a couple wins under your belt; you've been climbing up the Rolex Rankings.  Just take us through your year for those who might not be following it every week how you feel you've been playing and what's gone right for you.

STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, I got off to a really good start this year.  I lost in a playoff in Australia, and that's the best start I've had to any year.  Usually I'm pretty slow getting started, so I was pretty happy with that.

Then we got in a little swing in there kind of in the summer in ‑‑ was it ShopRite and ‑‑ yeah, ShopRite, Sybase, Wegman's, and Mobile.  I went on a streak there and played really well and won twice.

I was disappointed coming of the U.S. Open.  I felt like I was playing good going into the tournament, and kind of got ahead of myself that week.  So I was disappointed with that, but I'm happy the way I bounced back from that tournament and just kind of kept moving on from there.

MODERATOR:  You guys are Solheim Cup teammates.  Obviously you play a lot of golf together.  Stacy, what's the best part of Paula's game?

PAULA CREAMER:  Tell me what is the best part of my game.

STACY LEWIS:  Playing with her is so much fun.  No, Paula, she always hits it good, every time I play with her she's solid fairways and greens.  She finds a way to will putts in the hole.  That's what's pretty amazing to me.  I talked to her about it at Solheim.  I was like, How do you make so many long putts when she has to?

She can find a way to will the ball into the hole.  You probably haven't been that happy with your year, I'm sure.

PAULA CREAMER:  No.

STACY LEWIS:  But she played great these last two days.  It was lot of fun playing with her today.  She had some putts go in, and it kind of helped the whole group, I think.

PAULA CREAMER:  It was like yesterday with you.  You were making so many good putts.  And that's the nice thing, when you can play with a player that's playing well.  We haven't played a ton this year together, but when you do play with somebody that has a lot of the momentum, it helps you just as much.

MODERATOR:  Questions for the ladies?  We'll do one more from me.  Unlikely probably that you'll be paired together going into the weekend, but from both of you, Stacy first, what do you have to do to get your third win and first win here at the Evian Masters?

STACY LEWIS:  As you've seen today, you have to make birdies.  You can't try to force it though, that's the hard part.  You want to try to birdie every hole, but that's usually when you get in trouble.

So it's staying patient out there and making putts.  Just got to keep making birdies and climbing up that leaderboard.

MODERATOR:  And Paula, obviously the last win, the 2010 U.S. Open, was a huge one for you.  Been trying to get the next win.  A past champion here.  Tell us what have to do in the next 36 holes to get back in the winner's circle.

PAULA CREAMER:  If you played this golf course the way it's meant ‑‑ obviously Stacy played well; I have 9‑under.  You can do it out here.  You get little confidence and start hitting your irons close and anything can happen.

There is a lot of golf left.  Most importantly, like what Stacy said, you just have to take it when you can.  They have been moving some tees around here and there, and I'm sure some of the pin placements will be a little bit different tomorrow.  Some of 'em you can go for, and some of 'em you can't.  You just have to stay in your own little world and take care of your own business.


ILHEE LEE, Rolex Rankings No. 123

Q. You must be pleased with today.

ILHEE LEE:  Yeah, really happy to play good these two days.

Q.  Did you change your game at all today?

ILHEE LEE:  No, nothing changed.  Just same golf.

Q.  And how are you feeling about the rest of the week?

ILHEE LEE:  I mean, now I feel really good.  I'm going to try to keep this feel to the weekend.  Yeah.

Q.  So you played good today.

ILHEE LEE:  Yeah.

Q.  Shot 67.

ILHEE LEE:  Uh‑huh.

Q.  Tell me what worked well for you today.  Why did you play well?

ILHEE LEE:  I have think my putting feels really good this week.  And then the last tournament, in U.S. Open, that makes me more confidence and then play better than before.

Yeah, and then I got more like relax to golf, to play tournament.  So everything is getting better, I think.  Yeah.

Q.  So U.S. Open, tied for fourth.

ILHEE LEE:  Yeah.

Q.  Best finish.  How much confidence did that give you coming here?

ILHEE LEE:  Oh, first, I'm not worried about next year.

Q.  Right.

ILHEE LEE:  That makes, I mean, a lot difference. Then this event feels like bonus game, so it's just, I mean, take it easy and then just hang out playing.  That's different.  Way different.  Before the U.S. Open it's way different.

Q.  What is your favorite thing about Evian?

ILHEE LEE:  Oh, this field is like, I mean, never seen this field before.

Q.  You've never seen?

ILHEE LEE:  No.  It's amazing.  And then I went to Switzerland Tuesday.

Q.  Yeah.  To Lausanne?

ILHEE LEE:  Uh‑huh.

Q.  Did you go to the Olympic museum?

ILHEE LEE:  We didn't know how to take a train so we walk up to the top.  So, yeah, we just walk around and then come back.

Q.  Who did you go with?

ILHEE LEE:  Eun‑Hee Ji and Jennifer Song.  We had great time.  Couple hours.

Q.  Two more days; you've been playing great.  How are you feeling about being near the top of the leaderboard for Saturday and Sunday?

ILHEE LEE:  Yeah, I mean, it's going to be same, same as today, same as yesterday.  Yeah.

Then first made cut.  (Laughter.)  I don't think about the other.  I just going to go have fun on the golf course.  Yeah, I mean, same.  It's going to be same.

Q.  What's the best part of your game?

ILHEE LEE:  I like my iron shot, like short iron.  I like iron shots.  This week my putting is really good, so...

Q.  Why is that, the greens or just your stroke is better?

ILHEE LEE:  The greens, I think it's confidence.

Q.  Can you tell me more about yourself, hobbies, what you like to do?

ILHEE LEE:  Oh, I like taking picture.  I like video.  I do have my own video like camcorder always with me. Then, yeah, I like ‑‑ yeah, I like those things.

Q.  Do you have a web page or something where you can see your videos?

ILHEE LEE:  I don't yet.  I have to make.

Q.  You should.

ILHEE LEE:  Yeah, okay.

Q.  How old are you and where do you come from?

ILHEE LEE:  23 now, and from Seoul.

Q.  So is this your rookie year on the LPGA?

ILHEE LEE:  No, it's my third year actually.  This is my first playing here in Evian.

Q.  Did you qualify by the U.S. Open performance?

ILHEE LEE:  Uh‑huh, but couple weeks ago I didn't know if I can play here even.

Q.  So you said this is like a bonus.

ILHEE LEE:  Yeah.


INBEE PARK, Rolex Rankings No. 21

Q. First off, congratulations, great round, 8‑under par.  Big difference from yesterday.  What was the biggest difference in your game?

INBEE PARK:  It was the par‑5s that cost me yesterday because I have made three bogeys on the par‑5s yesterday.  Well, I was going for it, and most of the time it gave me a lot of trouble.  I tried to play a little bit more conservatively today on the par‑5s, and that really worked out well.

And over the five years I had really problems with the greens because I couldn't read them and I just couldn't putt around this golf course.

Today I putted great.  I think that was why I was able to shoot a low number.

Q.  Did you feel pretty good about your game?  Even with the way you shot yesterday, did you feel a score like this might be possible?

INBEE PARK:  Yeah, I mean, a lot of people had great scores yesterday.  Greens are a little bit quicker this year, so thought it might play a little bit different this year.

Lengthening the course, and I think a little bit harder, harder on the ‑‑ the (indiscernible) are a little bit harder today.  Playing in the afternoon, so that gave me extra distance to go for it in the par‑5s.

Q.  As you were saying they lengthened some of the holes.  There have been some slight changes getting ready for next year when this will be much bigger.  Is it playing much different?

INBEE PARK:  Um, I actually think it's playing similar except for the greens.  Greens got a lot quicker.

Q.  Knowledge of the greens everybody says helps.  Is that the biggest thing?

INBEE PARK:  Yeah, definitely.  It took me five years.  Yeah, took me a lot of time to get to know these greens.

Q.  At the top of the leaderboard again heading into the weekend, what are the biggest keys for you?

INBEE PARK:  I think it's mostly putting good.  I think getting comfortable with the putting around this golf course, because in some places are really quick, some places are really slow, some places breaks a lot, and some places just doesn't.

It's really tricky, these greens, so it's getting used to the greens.


MIKA MIYAZATO, Rolex Rankings No. 17

Q. Great round.  Three shots behind right now I think, or two.  Just tell us how you played today.

MIKA MIYAZATO:  Very patient today.  Like front nine I have many birdie chance but I not make it, but back nine is much better the putting, so I make three birdie and bogey‑free round.

Q.  How does your game feel overall this year?

MIKA MIYAZATO:  Overall this game this season not so very well.  But like start ShopRite, Wegman's, couple events much better feel of my golf game.

So I'm more confidence.

Q.  What's your favorite thing about being here at the Evian Masters?

MIKA MIYAZATO:  I went it Switzerland a couple days ago.

Q.  What did you do there?

MIKA MIYAZATO:  Just sightseeing.

Q.  Did you go to the Olympic museum?

MIKA MIYAZATO:  No.

Q.  Tell us about the weekend.  You're in a great position.

MIKA MIYAZATO:  I think so.

Q.  What do you have to do to finish at the top of the leaderboard?

MIKA MIYAZATO:  I think so many people chance to the weekend, so I need to make more birdie.  My shot is very well, so keep continue two more days and make more putt.


CHEYENNE WOODS

Q. Congratulations.  First cut made on the LPGA Tour.

CHEYENNE WOODS:  I know.  So exciting.

Q.  Just how do you feel?

CHEYENNE WOODS:  I'm so excited.  It feels so good, one, to be out here in France, and then to play so well and finally make a cut.

This is the best I've played since I've started playing, getting exemptions and playing here on tour.  So it's really exciting.

Q.  Just take us through your round today.  What worked for you?

CHEYENNE WOODS:  I was hitting the ball really well.  I think I hit like 15 greens.  Still didn't make a few putts here and there, but overall I was very happy with my game.

Ball‑striking was the best it's been in a while.

Q.  Just for the weekend, obviously I'm sure one of the goals was to make the cut, but now what are you looking for in the next 36 holes?

CHEYENNE WOODS:  I mean, just to continue what I'm doing.  Don't change my game plan.  Just continue to play my game and stay calm out here.

I feel a lot more comfortable out here this week.  I think the last two tournaments I've played have given me a lot of experience, so I'm thankful for that and excited to be here.

Q.  Was that a birdie at the last?

CHEYENNE WOODS:  Yes.

Q.  So you finished at 4‑under overall.

CHEYENNE WOODS:  4‑under, yes.

Q.  Great.  Do you think there is less pressure to make the cut here that you are far from U.S.A. or not?

CHEYENNE WOODS:  I don't know.  I guess you could say, but it's still a lot of pressure.  I mean, it's still a big event.  It's so prestigious to be out here.  I'm so thankful to be out here.

I think it's different being away from home.  My family is not here.  I'm here with my friend Danielle Kang.

I don't know why I played better here.

Q.  You seem very relaxed on the course, because I saw laughing.  I don't know why.  Maybe you almost fall or something.

CHEYENNE WOODS:  Yes, we tripped.

Q.  Okay.  So that was very funny just to see you this way.

CHEYENNE WOODS:  Yeah.  I mean, I think it helped a lot playing with Danielle.  We're rooming together, and it's nice to have somebody there that I know.  We have fun throughout the entire round.

Q.  Do you have a way to handle the pressure, or is it your natural behavior?  You seem very smiley girl, even in a country you don't know.  You are always like that?

CHEYENNE WOODS:  Yeah, for the most part.  I mean, I enjoy being out here playing golf and being on the LPGA; playing in these events is awesome.

I usually don't get too down on myself on the course.  Today was just a good day, so I had no reason not to smile.

Q.  Do you think Tiger will have a look on this little part of the world?

CHEYENNE WOODS:  I don't know.  Hopefully he's checking up on scores.  I'm sure he's busy though.  He's a busy man.

Q.  No tweets from Tiger?

CHEYENNE WOODS:  He doesn't really tweet this much.  He's not big into Twitter, so...

Q.  What happened at 15?  Did you hit a bad shot?  Miss the green?  Wrong iron or something?

CHEYENNE WOODS:  Yeah, on 15 I didn't catch the slope on my second shot so I was up in the rough with a bad lie.  I just didn't get it up on the green.  Hit it left in the rough and chipped it and missed.

Q.  You're very smiley.  Tiger usually has his game face, and that's not your game face.  You are Madam Smiles.  Don't we all agree?

CHEYENNE WOODS:  That's so funny.  I didn't realize I smiled so much.

Q.  It's nice and you've got a lovely smile.

CHEYENNE WOODS:  Thank you.

Q.  Have you been to Europe before?

CHEYENNE WOODS:  Well, I've been to Scotland a few years ago.  This is the first time to France and everything.

Q.  When you where in Scotland did you play?

CHEYENNE WOODS:  It wasn't a tournament.  I was just there with a golf group from the United States and we just played different courses in the area.

Q.  Where did you go?

CHEYENNE WOODS:  St. Andrews.  We didn't play St. Andrews, but we played like the Castle Course and some right in that area along the cliffs and stuff.

 

KARINE ICHER, Rolex Rankings No. 61

Q. Just tell me how you played today.

KARINE ICHER:  Playing good.  Putting was not as good as yesterday.  The green was a little bit slower because obviously we're playing in the afternoon so it's slower than in the morning.

So I missed some makable putts.  Hope to do better tomorrow.

Q.  Still getting a lot of support out there from the locals?

KARINE ICHER:  Yeah, it's fun to play with all the fans and all the people watching for you and go for you.  So it's a lot of fun, yeah.

Q.  Today Franck and Jacques were talking a lot about this event becoming a major, they're not in it for profit; they trying to grow golf.  Yesterday you were talking about how you hope to inspire young French girls.

KARINE ICHER:  Yeah.

Q.  What do you think this tournament can go do for golf in France and actually around the world?

KARINE ICHER:  I hope it's going to encourage the young French girl to try golf ‑ at least to try.  Maybe if we have 200 girls going to try, two or three going to make it through professional and everything.

That's the goal.  I think we have a beautiful country, good golf courses.  Just the goal is to have more and more young player, like Asia do for young kids playing golf.


JACQUE BUNGERT, Evian Masters tournament director
FRANCK RIBOUD, Danone Group Chairman and CEO and  Evian Masters Chairman
DAVE SAMPSON,

JACQUES BUNGERT:  So just few words.  As you know, we'll be the last major of the year.  The place, you know, it, it won't change.  It will be Evian.  I know you were worried.  And the dates will be 12 to 15 of September.  It's going to be a very interesting season, and an interesting crowd of passionate golfers.

What we are working on at the moment with the tour is basically the idea of maybe using this special position at the end of the whole tunnel, I would say, of major to probably celebrate some players that would have shown a special performance throughout the year, throughout the season through the majors.

FRANCK RIBOUD:  And the junior golf cup will be separate.  The golf course will be closed two weeks before for everybody to get the best quality for the course.

JACQUES BUNGERT:  By the way, if you have questions later on, we'll answer later on with one of the architects, with pleasure.

A new identity.  Let's go on.  As I showed you, we're changing a little bit of colors to adapt to the season obviously, as well as our new principle of having all the logos in the same color.

This specific logo will be used for our merchandising, as you can see here.  Just obviously this will change.  I am not sure this is going to be exactly the same one.  It's just an example just to show you that it goes very well with the logo, the branding, and the merchandising.

FRANCK RIBOUD:  Just the week of the tournament.  The rest of the year will be the Evian Golf Course.

JACQUES BUNGERT:  It would be only to get these items within the tournament, on the site, and that's it for a very specific moment of the golf tournament.

FRANCK RIBOUD:  The merchandising will be the Evian Golf Club.

JACQUES BUNGERT:  Most importantly, the key is the new golf course.  You've got here as well the map I was mentioning, and you will have another one again near the practice grounds over there.

So here the film that shows in 3D the way it's going to look like around 15, 16.  15 will be on the left, par‑3.  This is the new grandstand with the water.  As you can see, there is an extension of the water, and here you see the green of the 15 and tee of...

The village, the new village.  18 will be a par‑4, one the important changes.  This will be the entrance for the main public.  The village, that will be obviously extended.  There is a lot of possibilities for the industry to promote their products.

The public will go that way.  We'll have many so grandstands to look after the chipping.  You can see all the key sponsors overseeing the chipping as well.

This is another view.  Well, that's it.  We'll come back to that.  Maybe actually if you have question already on the golf course, maybe we can answer it.  You have a view here and another view here on the golf course.

Most of you know the changes of all the greens and the tee off position, and as well as 15, 16, 17, 18.  Very challenging.

Dave, maybe do you want to do some comments on this?

DAVE SAMPSON:  Very happy to answer any questions that anybody has on the new proposal.  What Jacques said is the main most notable changes that are coming on, the holes nearest the clubhouse, and then No. 5 will be changing it from a par‑4 to a par‑3.  It's going to be quite a dramatic par‑3 with a number of legs cascading back down towards the tee box.

On No. 15, we're just pushing the tee and the green back slightly so that we can introduce the new par‑3, 16, to create the amphitheater of golf and to heighten the drama for a major championship.

The other changes are the increase in size of all the green complexes.  We're also changing the look and feel of the bunkers.  The current bunkers are quite wide and big and flat and not in character and scale and proportion with the golf course currently, so all the bunkers will be rescaled down and made smaller and a lot more challenging and a bit more of a penalty than they are right now.

JACQUES BUNGERT:  And the golf will close right after mid‑September this year and we will reopen early July, probably mid‑July, maybe the 14th, with a great celebration of the new opening the of golf course obviously to be able and ready for the first Evian Championship in September.

Quick words on this.  Obviously we were discussing it yesterday with Mike Whan, the commissioner of the LPGA and with the tours.  Obviously we will have a lot of surprise.  We will have all our champions coming back to us, and some of them are being very excited about the idea of coming back here for this special moment.

There will be a lot of specific surprise that I keep for myself just to tease you a little bit and make sure you will be with us next year.

I'm going to leave it to Franck.  Basically, what is important too, and he and mention it during the Junior Cup award ceremony, we're working also currently...

(Applause.)

Golf is a priority, sorry.  He mentioned we will have a new competition coming probably in '14 with the under‑17.  As you know, the Junior Cup involves the under‑14, 1‑4, and we're going to go on with the under‑17.

The junior Cup is already paying off, I would say.  Since as you know, the Chinese player, (indiscernible) the Junior Cup two years ago, and is playing the Evian Masters this year, which a great news for China and great news for us as well.

Again, it tells a lot about what Franck wants to build here as a system.  The Evian Masters today and tomorrow the Evian Championship is only the emerge part of a gigantic system that wants to promote the future of golf through champions and through events.

This is the place, this is the tool.  Obviously you were over there during the week.  You have seen the new training center, I mean, all these tools are dedicated to the best of golf.  Franck, maybe you want to have a few words about it?

FRANCK RIBOUD:  No, the only thing Jacques forget is if you look at the future, we will have the Evian Championship, the Evian; we will have Junior Cup; we will have this under‑17, and we have also the Haribo Kids Cup, kids between 7 and 20 years old.

As he said, it's exactly what we want to do.  We are not there to make profit with the Evian.  We just want to build the future of golf.  And not only French golf, all golf.

The question mark we have is could we do something with, I don't know, a male tournament, a man tournament.  Why not?  It's something open.  When you look at the new golf course on which you don't have even the back, back tee, perhaps we could also imagine to have one day an (indiscernible) tournament.

So we are going to give this new course to the crazy people, really the crazy one about golf.  Not the one about of the weekend, the really crazy one.

To give you an example, when we discuss with Jan (phonetic) and Jean, I want we change the flag every day.  I want we change the tee off every day.  I want the course is changing every day, not only for the tournament, but also for the people crazy about golf.  You know, you have a lot people like this all over the world.

On top of that, we want to bring back in this golf club what I call the (in French), meaning the right technology and so on and so on.  So we are really going to try to transform this golf course.

On top of that, we are going to refurbish totally the Royal Hotel in the next three years.  We will not close it, but we will refurbish ‑ perhaps more than refurbish ‑ spend a lot of known make this hotel really a five star hotel.

So you will have the Royal, the Hermitage, and the Manuel.  The idea of the Manuel is, again, for the people crazy about golf.  Like for those who are climbing mountains, you have what we call a (in French), just people crazy about golf.  If you want to eat, you will share the table with the other one you even don't know.  That's the idea.

The other idea is to have a lot of kids from clubs, from Federation, from leagues, to come here with their trainer and train them serve.  The idea was coming two years ago we invite 25 kids from the club in Paris I know quite well.  The kids were just ‑‑ they love the place, except one thing.  They can't make noise because they are in a big hotel.

So we offer to them now a place where they can be alone so they can destroy the place.  One of the kid was mine, so I know.  But it's exactly the idea.

And you will see that the price we ask for playing on the Evian Training Center and having your bed in the Manuel will be very affordable.

So that's it.  After the tournament, one idea, and we just discuss about that this morning.  We are in July; we are going to be in September.  Means nothing for you, but many things for us.  The trees, no more leaves.  They are on the ground.  People working at this period of time.  We don't have a lot traffic jam here, but you don't need a lot of things to have big trouble on the road.

So we have to reinvent the tournament, not only the tournament, the sport tournament, but we have to reinvent everything.  The wrong idea will be to try to copy what we are doing in July in September.  The days are shorter.  Normally we have less storm.  Be there if we need you, not with your have your pencil, but with your arms.

So that's the idea.  Honestly, that will transform totally the tournament.  Except that, we want to keep the same spirit.  It's not because we are a major that we are going to, I don't care.  No, no.  We will keep exactly the same spirit for this tournament, the spirit you can feel during the party, the spirit you can feel during the soccer match.

Again, I got a lot of question yesterday about this soccer match because it seems obvious we have spectators.  No.  The idea in the beginning, and I repeat this everywhere, the soccer match is there for the caddies, nothing else.

Because we want also to take care not only of the players, but we want to take care of all the stakeholders around the tournament.  The caddies are part of this.

So don't ask us everything for next year, but we will continue to improve the quality of the tournament globally.

JACQUES BUNGERT:  We can maybe afterwards ask specific or more technical questions today.  By the way, I want to give credit to all of the colleagues that have been working and are working on this project and are not here today.

Obviously your partner (indiscernible) from your proposed design, and Steve Smyers, a consultant for the LPGA.  So it's a collective work, and it's important to ‑‑

FRANCK RIBOUD:  And good for the weather during the winter.  We are not in Florida.

JACQUES BUNGERT:  Well, now, back to your questions.

Q.  Do you intend to stick to the September dates for your new championship, meaning that when it'll be played, the Solheim Cup will be over and the other four majors will count to give points to both teams.  Not you.  It will be the first time that I major won't count for the Solheim Cup.  And next, because after years you have also the Ryder Cup at the end of the month of September, maybe around the 20th, don't you think you will have a sort of conflict?

JACQUES BUNGERT:  Well we'll see as far as the Ryder Cup is concerned.

On the Solheim Cup points, we are working and discussing it with the tour, but it might be some sliding, some decision with some sliding the points.  So we'll see that as well.

Anyway, these a dates were the only dates possible, so we had to adjust to, I would say, the general calendar.  So we'll see how we are working on this with the team and the LPGA, and we will see.

Q.  (Question in French. )

JACQUES BUNGERT:  The question of your colleague was about the link and the benefit between the good results of Group Danone, because ‑‑ actually, by the way, the chairman is also the chairman of Group Danone.

And the link between the success of the Evian Masters and (indiscernible), the Evian brand was saying basically that it was full profit obviously worldwide for the brand, and they had to even exploit even more the great potential of a worldwide major, and this was a challenge for the future.

Franck insisted on the fact that after competing all these years, there is a technical issue that explains also why Evian, the tournament, the group, to exploit the brand with a mayor and with the city of Evian.

You have some specs and some obligation on the part of the brand.  Among them, the idea of animating the city and making an event for the city.  In the past, it was a musical festival and now it's the Evian Masters and tomorrow the Evian.

So it's technically also putting a very specific future to the tournament, because it's a technical obligation by contract between the brand and the city.

FRANCK RIBOUD:  50% of the sales of Evian are outside France.

JACQUES BUNGERT:  We were talking about Evian, but I'm sure our friend Barbec (phonetic) will tell you about the benefit for IBM being here using the tournament as a lab.  I'm sure we could talk about Lacoste and his experience in tennis.  We are really benefitting from what we're doing.  All the digital goodies and innovations, we're working on them on a global platform with Lacoste.

Same with Societe Genrale, Rolex.  I would say that we're also benefitting from their experience.  And in the past 10 years, our partnership, everything we signed, as well as with Renaud yesterday actually, is for very long period of time.  Everything is just the idea of this tournament.

Franck was talking about spirit.  It's important to understand that we've got a board, I would say, a club of sponsors that are really working with us all year long to make this tournament what it is.

For most of them, it's a fantastic lab also and it's a lab for us.  It gives us also some dimensions that help us evolve.

FRANCK RIBOUD:  Just imagine that with Rolex we have a 10‑year contract.  So in golf, if you want to build something, you need sustainability.  So we need this kind of contract.  We don't want to change.

Q.  What about the prize money?  It has been$3.25 for three years and you don't change it.  Why?

FRANCK RIBOUD:  After the U.S. Open.

Q.  So there is pressure on you?

FRANCK RIBOUD:  No pressure.  We respect everything.  The U.S. Open is the U.S. Open, so we don't want to be up the U.S. Open.

JACQUES BUNGERT:  As we were mentioning two or three years ago, I don't recall, but basically we could have expanded and grown the prize money easily.  It was not the crisis of that.  We didn't want to do it just for the sake of respecting what it is.

It's true we've been aligning ourselves ‑ without any pressure, I should mention ‑ from anyone just because we were respectful.  As we did change the name of the Evian Masters.  You know it because we have been talking about it.  But when we were together at Augusta this year, because Franck happens to also be on the board of Rolex, and we were with our Rolex friends and when chairman came to us.  It's really a privilege.

He came to Frank and said, Thank you.  Franck was like, Why?  Just thank you for changing the name.  And why?  Because in fact there is a contract with the tour that no major can be called Masters.  It was not a problem.  We anticipated it.  Nobody asked for it.

We said okay.  Nobody asked.  We are going to change it just by respect.  This is the way we work and this is the way we see also I would say the family of golf, people who have been around for longer, longer, longer and many years than us.

FRANCK RIBOUD:  I think there is another way to answer it.  If you look at sports, all the sports, we have also the responsibility not to be totally crazy about prize money for sports.  I think we have the right good balance between what different population can accept and what can attract the best player of the world.

Don't forget that 18 years ago we start as a pro‑am and today it's a major.  So everybody think it's going very fast, very fast.  Yes, but that's the reason why we don't want to destroy or damage the tournament being there since 100 years.  So we have to continue to build the history of this tournament.

It's a long, long process.

JACQUES BUNGERT:  Any other questions?  Okay, so thank you very much for your attention.  I would like to say also a special thanks, because you've been following us for a long time.  It's our major today, and it's also thanks to you and thanks to the job you've been doing and the history you've been telling about Evian.

We don't do it every day, but we would like to thank you for that you.

Thank you.  (Applause).


Topics: The Evian Championship, Notes and Interviews

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