The world’s best female golfers have arrived at the Evian Resort for the season’s fifth and final major.
Twelve months ago, In Gee Chun made golf history with a stunning wire-to-wire victory at the Evian Championship, setting a major championship scoring record (for both men and women) with a 21-under-par total.
This year 22 of the top-25 in the Rolex Rankings are back at the beautiful French resort, for what is set to be a fantastic spectacle of golf. Here’s everything you need to know:
The Ones To Watch
World No. 1 So Yeon Ryu headlines the field and will be trying to capture her third win of the season, and third career major.
It is arguably her closest rival at the top of the rankings, Lexi Thompson who goes into the tournament as favourite however, having picked up her ninth career win last week at the inaugural Indy Women in Tech.
Meanwhile all eyes will be on rookie sensation Sung Hyun Park who has had a sensational first year on Tour. The world No. 3 picked up her second win of the season in Canada last month and arrives in Evian leading not only the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year race but is also in the hunt for the Rolex Annika Major Award, Race to CME Globe, Player of the Year, Vare Trophy and money title.
The Korean has a great track record in the event, finishing second behind In Gee Chun in 2016.
Georgia Hall, who currently sits third in the Ladies European Tour Order of Merit, will be hoping to following up a sensational rookie appearence at the Solheim Cup will a strong debut at the Evian Resort. She will have Inbee Park's former caddie Australian Brad Beecher on the bag for the first time.
Fan favourite Michelle Wie has withdrawn from the event, as she continues to recover after having her appendix removed two weeks ago.
Lydia Ko Set To Challenge
Following a dire season on Tour, at least in comparison to the dominant performances we’ve grown accustomed to seeing from the Kiwi, it appears that Lydia Ko may be at last back to her best. The former champion comes into the event off the back of a 2nd place finish in Indianapolis, her best finish of the season, and will be looking to go one better in France this week.
Ai Miyazato Says Farewell
This week, two-time Evian champion Ai Miyazato will play in her final event on the LPGA Tour. The former world No. 1 amassed 60 top-10s, her most recent coming at the Cambia Portland Classic where she played her final event in the United States and picked up another top-5. Miyazato, who never won a major in her career, won nine times on Tour including twice in Evian before the event became a major championship – leaving open the possibility that Miyazato could still get that last missing piece this week as she wraps up her career.
A Major Only In Name?
While this year’s Evian Championship will boast the second largest purse in the female game, there continues to be doubts regarding the event’s status as a major. In Gee Chun’s record breaking victory twelve months ago, while spectacular, posed questions about the test posed by the French course, while the tournament has been historically plagued by bad weather, largely attributed to its September start date.
Nonetheless, despite the decision by Stacy Lewis to miss the tournament, the rest of the world’s best players look eager to finish the season on a high, and it can be guaranteed that the ladies will serve up an amazing show.
Rolex Annika Award To Be Decided
The Rolex ANNIKA Major Award recognises the player who, during a current LPGA Tour season, had the most outstanding record in all five major championships.
So Yeon Ryu leads the season long points race with her win at the ANA Inspiration and solid showing in the season’s other major championships where she twice finished in the top-15. The Korean knows what it takes to play well in Evian where she finished tied for second last year behind In Gee Chun.
Danielle Kang, Sung Hyun Park, and In-Kyung Kim have also staked their claim to the 2017 RAMA title.
The Evian Resort provides a spectacular location for the tournament, set amidst the foothills of the Chablais region and on the edge of Lake Geneva. The event has become recognised for the emphasis it places on healthy lifestyles and along with sponsor, Evian mineral water, stress the importance of hydration, sport and the playful Live Young attitude as essentials for a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
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