The Evian Championship Primer: Storylines, Field, TV

The LPGA Tour moves on to Evian-les-Bains, France for the final major of the 2017 season: The Evian Championship. The field in France includes 92 of the top 100 players on the LPGA Money List, who have a combined 51 major victories.


DEFENDING CHAMPION

In 2016, In Gee Chun captured her first Evian Championship title by four strokes over Sung Hyun Park and So Yeon Ryu. Chun’s 72-hole score of -21 is the lowest major championship score in the history of men’s and women’s golf, and she went on to win the year’s Rolex Rookie of the Year honors.

In Gee Chun

  • In 18 starts this season, Chun has five runner-up finishes and three other top-10 finishes
  • Chun is currently No. 5 in the Rolex World Rankings
  • Chun’s two LPGA victories are both majors – the 2015 U.S. Women’s Open Championship and the 2016 Evian Championship

THE SKINNY

Tournament: The Evian Championship
Managed By: LPGA Tour and Ladies European Tour
Title Sponsor: Evian
Dates: September 14-17
Course: Evian Resort Golf Club
Where: Evian-les-Bains, France
Vitals: par-71, 6,479 yards
Purse: $3,650,000
Winning Share: $547,500
Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


TV COVERAGE

Round 1: Thursday 5 AM-12:30 PM Golf Channel
Round 2: Friday 5 AM-12:30 PM Golf Channel
Round 3: Saturday 6:30-11:30 AM Golf Channel
Round 4: Sunday 8 AM-12 PM Golf Channel; 12-1:30 PM NBC


HISTORY: 6 THINGS TO KNOW

In Gee Chun

  • The Evian Championship has been played as a major on the LPGA Tour since 2013
  • The event was played as the Evian Masters and was a stop on the LPGA and Ladies European Tours from 1994-2012
  • All four players who have claimed The Evian Championship – Suzann Pettersen (2013), Hyo Joo Jim (2014), Lydia Ko (2015) and In Gee Chun (2016) – are in the field this week
  • Past Evian Masters winners in the field are Laura Davies (1995, 1996), Juli Inkster (2003), Paula Creamer (2005), Karrie Webb (2006), Natalie Gulbis (2007) and Ai Miyazato (2009, 2011)
  • Hyo Joo Kim’s first-round 61 in 2014 is the lowest round in LPGA major history
  • In Gee Chun’s 72-hole score of 21-under 263 is the lowest major championship score in the history of men’s and women’s golf

THE FIELD IN FRANCE

So Yeon Ryu

2017 LPGA Winners (17)

  • Brittany Lincicome (Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic)
  • Amy Yang (Honda LPGA Thailand)
  • Anna Nordqvist (Bank of Hope Founders Cup)
  • Mirim Lee (Kia Classic)
  • So Yeon Ryu (ANA Inspiration, Walmart NW Arkansas Championship)
  • Cristie Kerr (LOTTE Championship)
  • Haru Nomura (Volunteers of America Texas Shootout)
  • Sei Young Kim (Citibanamex Lorena Ochoa Match Play)
  • Lexi Thompson (Kingsmill Championship, Indy Women in Tech Championship)
  • Shanshan Feng (LPGA Volvik Championship)
  • In-Kyung Kim (ShopRite LPGA Classic, Marathon Classic, Ricoh Women’s British Open)
  • Ariya Jutanugarn (Manulife LPGA Classic)
  • Brooke Henderson (Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give)
  • Danielle Kang (KPMG Women’s PGA Championship)
  • Katherine Kirk (Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic)
  • Sung Hyun Park (U.S. Women’s Open Championship, CP Women’s Open)
  • Mi Hyang Lee (Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open)

2017 Solheim Cup Participants (21)

  • Team USA (9): Paula Creamer, Austin Ernst, Danielle Kang, Cristie Kerr, Brittany Lang, Brittany Lincicome, Gerina Piller, Lexi Thompson, Angel Yin
  • Team Europe (12): Carlota Ciganda, Georgia Hall, Charley Hull, Karine Icher, Caroline Masson, Catriona Matthew, Anna Nordqvist, Florentyna Parker, Emily K. Pedersen, Mel Reid, Madelene Sagstrom, Jodi Ewart Shadoff

2017 LPGA Rookies (12)

  • Aditi Ashok, Nicole Broch Larsen, Peiyun Chien, Laura Gonzalez Escallon, Nelly Korda, Olafia Kristinsdottir, Bronte Law, Sung Hyun Park, Emily K. Pedersen, Mel Reid, Madelene Sagstrom, Angel Yin

STORYLINE 1: LEXI’S LAST SHOT

Now the final major is at hand, and Lexi Thompson is still in pursuit of a second career major title.

Lexi Thompson

The encouraging news is the young Floridian will be carrying momentum to Paris, having captured last weekend’s stop in Indianapolis. It’s her second win of a star-crossed season in which she’s also dealt with minor health issues and her mother’s battle with cancer.

In all, Thompson owns five top-2 finishes in 2017. And that doesn’t count her epic comeback from a 4-down deficit in Solheim Cup singles to earn a halve against European ace Anna Nordqvist.

STORYLINE 2: ROLEX ANNIKA MAJOR AWARD UP FOR GRABS

The Rolex ANNIKA Major Award recognizes the player who, during a current LPGA Tour season, had the most outstanding record in all five major championships. Points are awarded at all five
major championships to competitors who finished among the top 10 and ties. To take home the award, a player must also win at least one of the five majors.

Danielle Kang

With the first four majors complete, So Yeon Ryu (ANA Inspiration), Danielle Kang (KPMG Women’s PGA Championship), Sung Hyun Park (U.S. Women’s Open Championship) and In-Kyung Kim (Ricoh Women’s British Open) have staked their claim to the 2017 RAMA title. Ryu currently leads the race with 78 points, followed by Kang, Kim and Park with 60 points apiece. The winner of this week’s Evian Championship will also be eligible to win RAMA honors.

STORYLINE 3: MIYAZATO’S SWAN SONG

This week marks two-time Evian Masters champion and nine-time LPGA Tour winner Ai Miyazato’s final appearance as a member of the LPGA Tour. In May, Miyazato announced her intention to retire at the end of the season, and she decided to make the Evian Championship her final event.

Ai Miyazato

“I started golf when I was 4,” Miyazato said in May at a press conference in her native Japan. “It’s over 20 years. I have received many supports from many people. So I would like to repay from my position.”

She added, “I received many messages from many people, that you have done well. Many players, older and younger, told me that they will miss me. But now I am very thankful. Friends, players, family were very warm and accepting about my retirement.”

Over her 12-year LPGA Tour career, Miyazato has amassed nine victories, 62 top-10 finishes and more than $8 million in career earnings. She spent 11 weeks in the No. 1 spot on the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings in 2010, and became the most beloved Japanese golfer since Ayako Okamoto.

STORYLINE 4: FINAL STRETCH IN THE RACE TO THE CME GLOBE

The Evian Championship is the 26th event in the season-long Race to the CME Globe. This week could provide a major shakeup to the Race standings, as the five LPGA major championships carry 25% more value and this week’s winner will receive 625 Race to the CME Globe points.

So Yeon Ryu

World No. 2 Lexi Thompson currently leads the standings with 3,192 points, followed by World No. 1 So Yeon Ryu (2,652 points) and World No. 3 Sung Hyun Park (2,563 points).


Credit/Source: Getty Images, LPGA Communications


PGW Staff

This post was produced by a Pro Golf Weekly staff member.



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