Evian Championship Pre-tournament Notes

Hole No. 16

Evian Championship
Evian Resort Golf Club
Evian-les-Bains, France
Pre-tournament notes
Sept. 10, 2013

The LPGA Ticker: Evian Championship debuts as fifth LPGA major this week… Inbee Park chasing fourth major win of 2013… Course redesign on display beginning Thursday… Tournament features network coverage on NBC this Sunday.

For the past 13 years, the LPGA’s stop in France has held a reputation internally as one of the most exceptional golf tournaments on the Tour’s schedule. Previously known as the Evian Masters Presented by Société Générale, the event was played on a picturesque golf course built into the mountains in Evian-les-Bains, France overlooking the shores of Lake Geneva and featured one of the highest purses of the season.

This year, the tournament is elevated to major championship status and will now be played as the season’s fifth and final major. The inaugural Evian Championship will take place on the challenging Evian Resort Golf Club, which underwent a multimillion redesign over the past 14 months. A strong international field comprised of 120 players from the LPGA and Ladies European Tour will be on display beginning Thursday.

EVIAN VIDEO: What does Paula Creamer think about the fifth major?

Competition will be at an all-time high as the tournament has a rich history for bringing in the best of women’s golf. Highlighting this year’s field is current Rolex Rankings No. 1 and defending champion Inbee Park, whose 2012 victory marked the start of one of the most unbelievable stints of golf in LPGA history. The 2008 U.S. Women’s Open champion ended a four-year winless drought and was part of an impressive 2012 season for Park, who recorded 10 additional top-10s and another victory at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia.

Park has carried that success over to the 2013 season, recording a total of six victories this year and she holds dominant leads in the LPGA Official Money list and Rolex Player of the Year races. She is seeking to become the first South Korean to claim Player of the Year honors at season’s end. This week, the 25-year-old South Korean seeks to become the first golfer – male or female – to win four professional major championships in a single season with a victory on Sunday.

No. 2 Stacy Lewis will also be a favorite to win this week after claiming her second-career major victory at the RICOH Women’s British Open in August. The 28-year-old notched her 13th top-10 finish of the season at the Safeway Classic last month, which is the most on Tour this season.

The Evian Championship will be played September 12 through the 15 and will be featured on Golf Channel all four days with additional final round coverage on NBC. The first and second rounds will air from 7:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. EST while the third round will air from 6:30 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. Golf Channel will feature the final round from 8:30 a.m. - noon EST with NBC picking up the final holes from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Change of Course: Golf architects Dave Sampson, Jeremy Slessor and Steve Smyers were instrumental in helping the course undertake a multimillion dollar redesign that focused on the four-hole finishing stretch, now called the “Evian Puzzle.” Formerly a reachable par-5, the 18th hole has been 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 has also been shifted from a par-4 to a picturesque and demanding par 3.

Evian Championship Junior Cup: Mika Liu (Beverly Hills, Calif.), Elizabeth Wang (Marino, Calif.), Varun Chopra (Champaign, Ill.) and JJ Gresco (Scottsdale, Ariz.) will represent the United States at the seventh staging of the Evian Championship Juniors Cup. The event, which was first played in 2007, will be held September 17-18 at The Evian Resort Golf Club in Evian-les-Bains, France, site of the LPGA Tour’s fifth major, The Evian Championship.
Evian will host the two-day event, which will immediately follow The Evian Championship, and showcase the top international talent of junior golfers from 16 nations worldwide. Other countries represented in the competition include Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, The Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland. Teams will be made up of two male and two female players born in or after 1999 and the competition will be decided by stroke play over two 18-hole rounds.

Last year, the United States claimed their first Evian Championship Juniors Cup title and saw strong performances from Mika Liu and Sierra Brooks, who finished first and second respectively in the final girls’ individual rankings. The Americans recorded a team-winning score of 436, finishing five shots ahead of Spain while France finished third.

Topics: Notes and Interviews, The Evian Championship

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