Ladies European Tour Order of Merit leader Beth Allen of the United States believes that defending the ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters in Germany last week was perfect preparation for this week’s Evian Championship, which is the fifth and final Major of 2016.
As well as a tie for sixth place on the tight and hilly Golf Club Hubbelrath, Allen was able to practise the tricky side hill lie shots that could prove useful at the par-71 Evian Resort Golf Club in Evian-les-Bains, France, from Thursday.
Describing the course from a sun-bathed terrace on Tuesday, Allen said: “It’s actually like a bigger version of last week’s golf course which is funny, as I didn’t know what to expect going to Düsseldorf and when I played my first practise round with my caddie Sophie (Gustafson), we both thought, ‘Oh wow! This is good preparation for Evian.’ That’s good. I’m tired from walking it but that’s okay, I’m going to rest tomorrow.”
Allen shot consecutive rounds of 68 over the weekend to finish eight shots behind the winner In-Kyung Kim but her final round included a triple bogey seven on the first hole as well as nine birdies and two bogeys on her card.
“I had a horrendous start and tripled the first hole. If I’d played that hole even half decent it could have been better. It was the first time I’ve ever defended and I really wanted to win but I felt like I performed pretty well, so I was happy,” she said.
After 10 events played on the Ladies European Tour by Allen so far in 2016, the 34-year-old Californian has earned €162,303.89 and holds a lead of €42,568 over Scotland’s Catriona Matthew on the Order of Merit, closely followed by China’s Olympic bronze medallist Shanshan Feng, who is €60,202.42 behind Allen.
With prize money of US$3.25 million, there could be some Major moves at Evian this week, but Allen remains typically unfazed by the scale of the championship. She said: “I think tomorrow I’m going to take it easy because I’ve played golf something like eight days in a row. I’m just going to do an hour’s practise late in the afternoon and I’m going to try to get on a boat, as last year was so busy trying to work everything out and I played in a couple of Pro-Ams. This year I’m looking forward to having a day to enjoy it.
“I’m just going to do what I’ve been doing so far and not read too much into it being a Major; just treat it as any other week. I’m sticking to a similar routine as I have all year and it’s been working so I think I will be fine.”