New Look, New Name
This week marks the debut of the LPGA Tour’s fifth major, The Evian Championship. Having hosted the Evian Masters as an LPGA Tour event for the past 13 years, the Evian Resort Golf Club will shift into major championship mode for the first time in 2013 as it hosts the first-ever major championship to be held on Continental Europe and unveils its new-look golf 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. 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.
A field of 120 players will be competing to be the inaugural winner of The Evian Championship. Among those in the field vying for the $3,250,000 purse and $487,500 first-place prize check is Rolex Rankings No. 1 Inbee Park, who won last year’s Evian Masters. No. 2 Stacy Lewis, who won the fourth major of the season at the RICOH Women’s British Open, and the rest of the players in the top 10 in the Rolex Rankings will also be competing in Evian-Les-Bains, France.
A New Major Record?
Rolex Rankings No. 1 Inbee Park will try to do something this week that no golfer – male or female – has ever done and that’s win four professional major titles in one season. Park’s bid at a Grand Slam fell short at last month’s RICOH Women’s British Open where she tied for 42nd but with a fifth major on the LPGA schedule for the first time this year, Park will get an opportunity to write herself in the history books.
Park has certainly had success at the Evian Resort Golf Club. She won the Evian Masters last year by two strokes over Stacy Lewis and Karrie Webb to capture her second career LPGA title. Since then, Park has gone on to win seven more events. Her stellar play this season has her looking for her seventh victory in 2013 this week when she returns to Evian-Les-Bains, France.
Park, who won the first three majors of the year, has dominated the Tour statistically and ranks in the top-10 on Tour in nine categories. She has a 108-point lead over Stacy Lewis in the Player of the Year race and is the only player to hit the $2 million mark this season.
Statistics ranked in the top-10 on Tour in 2013
|Stat||Rank||Year to Date|
|Official Money List||1st||$2,179,877|
|Rolex Player of the Year||1st||281|
|Rounds in the 60's||1st||34 (54.8%)|
|Putts per GIR||1st||1.726|
|Rounds Under Par||2nd||43|
On to the Crown
With the 2013 Solheim Cup in the books, the LPGA Tour and its players look forward to the new international team event, the International Crown, to be played July 21-27, 2014 at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Md. outside of Baltimore. The event is a first-of-its-kind, global match play competition featuring teams from eight countries battling for the right to be “Crowned” the world’s best golf nation. Each of the countries will be represented by four players.
The field of eight countries will be set by the top four players’ ranks in the Rolex Rankings on Monday, November 25, 2013 following the LPGA Tour’s season-finale, CME Group Titleholders in Naples, Fla.
Once the country teams are set, players from those countries will still have a chance to fight for one of the final four spots on the team. The field of 32 players will be set the Monday of the 2014 Kraft Nabisco Championship. Below are the current standings for the top-8 teams with Rolex Rankings for each player and country total.
|1)South Korea||20||2) United States||40||3) Japan||102|
|Inbee Park||1||Stacy Lewis||2||Ai Miyazato||14|
|Na Yeon Choi||4||Paula Creamer||11||Mika Miyazato||19|
|So Yeon Ryu||5||Cristie Kerr||12||Rikako Morita||34|
|I.K. Kim||10||Lizette Salas||15||Miki Saiki||35|
|4) Spain||260||5) Sweden||274||6) Australia||300|
|Beatriz Recari||20||Anna Nordqvist||22||Karrie Webb||6|
|Azahara Munoz||31||Caroline Hedwall||24||Stacey Keating||93|
|Carlota Ciganda||33||Pernilla Lindberg||109||Lindsey Wright||99|
|Belen Mozo||176||Karin Sjodin||119||Katherine Hull-Kirk||101|
|7) Thailand||326||8) Chinese Taipei||336|
|Ariya Jutanugarn||23||Yani Tseng||18|
|Pornanong Phatlum||56||Candie Kung||76|
|Moriya Jutanugarn||100||Teresa Lu||82|
|Onnarin Sattayabanphot||147||Hsuan Yu-Yao||160|
The Evian Championship
Evian Resort Golf Club
Field: 120 (119 professionals, 1 amateur)
Par: 35-36, 71
Format: 72-hole stroke play
Defending champion: Inbee Park
Sept. 12 7:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Golf Channel
Sept. 13 7:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Golf Channel
Sept. 14 6:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Golf Channel
Sept. 15 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Golf Channel
Sept. 15 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. NBC
All times Eastern
***This week’s field information: The Evian Championship***
2013 LPGA Tour rookies (7)
2013 LPGA Official Money List
Top 10: 10/10
Top 20: 20/20
Top 50: 47/50
Past Champions (prior to the event becoming a major)
2012 Inbee Park
2011 Ai MIyazato
2010 Jiyai Shin
2009 Ai Miyazato
2008 Helen Alfredsson
2007 Natalie Gulbis
2006 Karrie Webb
2005 Paula Creamer
2004 Wendy Doolan
2003 Juli Inkster
2002 Annika Sorenstam
2001 Rachel Hetherington
2000 Annika Sorenstam
Press conference schedule
Wednesday, September 11
11:30 p.m. Inbee Park, Rolex Rankings No. 1 and winner of the 2012 Evian Masters
12:00 p.m. Stacy Lewis, Rolex Rankings No. 2
2:00 p.m. Lydia Ko, amateur
2:30 p.m. Karine Icher, top-ranked French player
3:00 p.m. Members of the victorious European Solheim Cup Team: Caroline Hedwall, Catriona Matthew, Anna Nordqvist, Carlota Ciganda with Solheim Cup trophy
4:00 p.m. Tournament President Franck Riboud and Tournament Director Jacques Bungert
TBD Suzann Pettersen
*Times are approximate due to pro-am and subject to change (all times are local in Evian-Les-Bains)