LPGA's Fifth Major, LPGA’s Fifth Major, The Evian Championship, Unveils Field Criteria
DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA/EVIAN LES BAINS, FRANCE, April 4, 2013 - A redesigned course, a new tournament date and now an upgraded field highlight the launch of the LPGA's fifth major, The Evian Championship, this season. The LPGA today announced the criteria for the 120-player field at the inaugural Evian Championship, to be played September 12-15, 2013.
The first-ever major championship to be held on Continental Europe, The Evian will feature a world-class field that boasts the top-40 from the Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings, all winners on the 2013 LPGA Tour including the champions of the Kraft Nabisco Championship, Wegmans LPGA Championship, U.S. Women's Open and RICOH Women's British Open, as well as all active Evian Masters winners.
"It is important to maintain the long-standing history and tradition of the tournament while also offering a fresh beginning as the LPGA's fifth major championship," said LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan. "Today's field criteria announcement ensures that we will have the strongest and most current field possible when we return to France in September for The Evian."
The Evian will also continue to honor the tradition of the Evian Masters by continuing to attract Europe's top talent. The top-five players on the Ladies European Tour (LET) Order of Merit as of September 3 will gain entry into the field, as will all 2013 Ladies European Tour winners.
Active winners of the Evian Masters include 2012 Vare Trophy winner Inbee Park (2012), nine-time LPGA winner Ai Miyazato (2009, 2011), 11-time LPGA winner Jiyai Shin (2008), three-time U.S. Solheim Cup Team member Natalie Gulbis (2007), LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame members Karrie Webb (2006) and Juli Inkster (2003), and nine-time LPGA winner Paula Creamer (2005).
"It's an exciting moment we are about to experience together with our sponsors: a new course for the Evian Resort and a new Major status for the Tournament. This is a one-in-a-life-time experience and we can only thank the players for their support, the media for their enthusiasm and those who trust in this amazing adventure" said Franck Riboud, Chairman of the Evian Championship.
"It is both a great continuation of what we achieved with the Evian Masters and the beginning of a new era for all of us. We will carry on with the spirit of "the Evian Experience" and with the requirements of golf's greatest traditions to pursue our ambition of trying to offer golf lovers the pinnacle of women's golf" added Jacques Bungert, Director of the Evian Championship.
The Evian will continue a history of supporting junior golf, evidenced by the Evian Championship Juniors Cup, played each of the last six years in advance of the LPGA tournament. This year, winners of the U.S. and British Ladies Amateur Championships will earn spots in The Evian field, presuming they remain amateur. The Evian will also have six sponsor invitations to extend, with the balance of the field filled from the current-year LPGA Official Money List at the commitment deadline.
The final field for The Evian will be announced on Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at 5 p.m. Eastern Time.
Evian Resort Golf Club is in the midst of a multimillion dollars redesign by golf architects Dave Sampson, Jeremy Slessor and Steve Smyers, with a focus on the four-hole finishing stretch. Formerly a reachable par-5, the 18thhole will be transformed into a demanding par-4, creating a more dramatic finish. Additional changes include "swing" holes on the newly redesigned 13th and 15th holes which can be set up as reachable par-5's and the new par-3 16th hole which will be played over water to a pitched green. The fifth hole is also being shifted from a par-4 to a picturesque and demanding par three.