MAJOR FINALE IN EVIAN
The LPGA Tour’s fifth and final major championship will be staged this week with the sixth edition of The Evian Championship in Evian-les-Baines, France. 120 of the world’s best female golfers descend on the scenic Evian Resort Golf Club this week to compete for a purse of $3.85 million and a chance to add their name to the history books.
Anna Nordqvist returns to defend her title after becoming the first player from Sweden to win The Evian Championship in 2017, defeating American Brittany Altomare on the first sudden death playoff hole. Each of the season’s major championship winners are also in attendance, hoping to add their name to the coveted list of Rolex ANNIKA Major Award winners.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE EVIAN CHAMPIONSHIP
This is the sixth edition of The Evian Championship since it became a major championship in 2013
From 2000-2012 (13 years) the tournament was held as a non-major event co-sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour and the LPGA, called the Evian Masters (2000-2008) and the Evian Masters presented by Societe Generale (2009-2012)
Held solely as an LET event from 1994-1999 called the Evian Masters
Defending champion Anna Nordqvist won the 2017 event for her second career major title, joining her win at the 2009 McDonald’s LPGA Championship
21 of the top 25 players in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings will compete this week
25 different countries will be represented in the field this week, including four players from France
The 2018 Rolex ANNIKA Major Award winner will be decided based off the results of the season’s final major this week: Sung Hyun Park, Ariya Jutanugarn, Pernilla Lindberg, Georgia Hall, So Yeon Ryu and Inbee Park all have mathematical chances to win the prestigious award
NO. 1 ON GEORGIA’S MIND
With Englishman Justin Rose rising to No. 1 in the latest men’s Official World Golf Rankings, it has 2018 Ricoh Women’s British Open champion Georgia Hall thinking of making her own history at the LPGA’s final major this week in France.
“I congratulated him [Justin] this morning,” Hall said on Tuesday at The Evian Championship. “I think it's incredible, and it was a really nice tweet he wrote as well. I said this morning it would be amazing if England men's and women's were like world No. 1. I think that would be incredible. He's a great role model to look up to in England.”
After becoming a Rolex First-Time Winner and major champion in August, Hall became the first player from England to rank among the top 10 since the Rolex Rankings were implemented in February of 2006. Hall is now ranked No. 8 in the Rolex Rankings and listed moving up to No. 1 as one of her top future objectives.
CONFIDENT LINDBERG READY TO CONQUER EVIAN
Pernilla Lindberg is making her seventh career start this week at The Evian Championship, and sixth since it became a major championship. This year is different however, as Lindberg now has the swagger of a major champion after winning the ANA Inspiration and becoming a Rolex First-Time winner.
“Obviously, I come into them with more confidence than before because I know that I have won one,” Lindberg said on Tuesday in France. “So I've just proven to myself and everyone else that I can win one of these.”
A win this week would be particularly special to Lindberg, who has her parents coming in from Sweden to cheer her on.
“Obviously, I would be very excited to win any other major besides my ANA. But being on European soil I guess would feel like you're a little closer to your home fans… just a little closer to home and a little easier for family to get here, too. Hopefully few more Swedish fans out there in general.”
HALL AND LINDBERG REVEL CHANCE TO WIN ROLEX ANNIKA MAJOR AWARD
The final major of the LPGA Tour season this week, The Evian Championship, also marks the final attempt for players to earn points towards the Rolex ANNIKA Major Award.
The Rolex ANNIKA Major Award will recognize the player who, during a current LPGA Tour season, has the most outstanding record in all five major championships. Points will be awarded at all five major championships to competitors who finish among the top-10 and ties. To take home the award, a player must also win at least one of the five majors.
2018 Ricoh Women’s British Open winner Georgia Hall and 2018 ANA Inspiration winner Pernilla Lindberg are among six players with a mathematical chance to win the award based on their finishes this week.
“It's obviously a really cool award because it just awards the best performance in our biggest events,” Lindberg said. “So to even have my name on that list, it's obviously a bigger goal than I probably had set for myself this year. Obviously I know I have to go out and do one more spectacular week this week to get that award. But, no, it gives me a special kind of boost just knowing that I'm in the running for it. Yeah, and exactly, I mean, with Annika's name on there, any time you can put your name kind of next to Annika's in any kind of way in the golf world I think you have done something good.”
“It's definitely been in my mind since the I won the British,” Hall said. “I think I've got a very good chance. I think I need to win to win it. It would be such an honor to win the award under Annika's name. To do the best in the majors would be awesome.”
The winner of the Rolex ANNIKA Major Award will be announced in a ceremony at The Evian Championship, wrapping up what promises to be an exciting season of majors in 2018.
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EVIAN CHAMPIONSHIP IS LAP 26 IN RACE TO THE CME GLOBE
The Evian Championship marks the 26th lap of the 2018 Race to the CME Globe. Ariya Jutanugarn continues to sit atop the standings with 3,648 points, followed by Minjee Lee with 2,469 points. Brooke Henderson sits in third with 2,420 points.
Throughout the season’s official events, LPGA Members will battle for position, with the top 12 players after the Blue Bay LPGA heading into the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship with the opportunity to take home a $1 million bonus, the biggest prize in women’s golf.
All tournaments have the same point values except for the five major championships, which carry 25 percent more value. For all events with a cut, points are awarded to members who make the cut, while for events without a cut, points are awarded to members who finish in the top 40 and ties.
Points will be reset for the CME Group Tour Championship following the Blue Bay LPGA, with the top 72 LPGA Members, as well as any non-Member winners and alternates, seeded into the championship field. For the top five players, it’s easy – win the CME Group Tour Championship and take home $1 million. However, the top 12 in the points race all have a mathematical chance to take the title of Race to the CME Globe Champion and win the coveted check.
In 2017, Lexi Thompson became the first American winner of the Race to the CME Globe and the accompanying $1 million prize. She joined Lydia Ko (2014, 2015) and Ariya Jutanugarn (2016) as the only players to hoist the crystal trophy.