Park Tops The Field in France
Sung Hyun Park headlines the field at the Evian Championship as the current Rolex Rankings world No. 1. Park is in her fourth consecutive week at the top of the rankings and returns to Evian Golf Club looking to become the first player to win four times this season. The Korean has consistently played well in France where she finished runner-up in 2016 and carded an opening round 63 in 2017. Park is joined by world No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn, No. 3 So Yeon Ryu, No. 4 Inbee Park and No. 5 Lexi Thompson, who make up 21 of the top 25 players in the Rolex Rankings who are in the field this week. Absent from the field are No. 10 In Kyung Kim and No. 20 Michelle Wie. Both are battling injuries, which forced them to miss the season’s final major.
Anna Nordqvist Defends
A year removed from her last victory on the LPGA Tour, Anna Nordqvist returns to defend her title at the Evian Championship. During Sunday’s final round, Nordqvist came from five-strokes back with a 5-under par, 66 to force a playoff with Brittany Altomare. Nordqvist won with a bogey in torrential rain to capture her second title of 2017.
The two-time major winner knows what it takes to win back-to-back, as she nearly made it at three-peat at the ShopRite LPGA Classic where she won in 2015 and 2016. A win on Sunday would provide a spark to what has otherwise been a disappointing season for Nordqvist, who struggled with a series of swing changes she’s made over the last year only to return to the form that earned her eight victories on the LPGA Tour. As she’s become more comfortable returning to the basics, Nordqvist recorded four top 10s over the summer.
Evian Champions Return
In addition to defending champion Anna Nordqvist, three former Evian champions are in the field this week. The 2014 champion, Hyo Joo Kim, returns to the site of her first victory on the LPGA Tour. That year, Kim recorded an opening round and major record, 61, to win her first major title. Kim was in the hunt for her second major earlier this season when she squared off with Ariya Jutanugarn in a playoff at the U.S. Women’s Open and finished runner-up. The 2015 champion, Lydia Ko, won her first major championship in Evian by carding a final round 63. The 2016 champion, In Gee Chun, captured her second major title with her victory two-years ago. She opened with a 63 on day one en route to setting a new major championship record by winning at 21-under par.
Nearly every winner of 2018 is in the field at the season’s final major championship, where 19 of the 20 winners this season will compete. Brooke Henderson, already a two-time winner in 2018, will be looking to add a second major title to her growing list of victories on the LPGA Tour. The Canadian won the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in 2016 for her first major title. 2018 winners Moriya Jutanugarn, Minjee Lee, Sei Young Kim and Nasa Hataoka are also in the field, looking to add a first major title to their resume.