Top Storylines for the Evian Championship

Hole No. 5

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
Scoring Average 2nd 69.742
Rounds Under Par 2nd 43
Birdies 3rd 261
Sub-Par Holes 3rd 266
Top-10 Finishes 3rd 47%
Putting Average 5th 28.92

 

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    

 

Quick facts
September 12-15
The Evian Championship
Evian Resort Golf Club
Evian-Les-Bains, France

Field: 120 (119 professionals, 1 amateur)
Par:  35-36, 71
Yardage: 6,465
Purse: $3,250,000
Winner:  $487,500
Format: 72-hole stroke play
Defending champion: Inbee Park

TV Times
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)
Katie Burnett
Austin Ernst
Moriya Jutanugarn
Caroline Masson
Lisa McCloskey
Brooke Pancake
Ayako Uehara 
                                   
Rolex Rankings
Top 7/10
Top 24/25

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)

 

 

 

Topics: Tournament Preview, The Evian Championship

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