Maria Verchenova says that she is excited to be competing at this month’s $3,250,000 Evian Masters, presented by Société Générale, which takes place from 22 – 25 July at Evian Masters Golf Club in France.
Just 12 months ago, Maria tied for 73rd place at the tournament playing on an invitation as Russia’s leading golfer.
The 24-year-old from Moscow is one of the world’s top 111 players in the field and will now bid to make her presence felt on the leader boards having received a special invitation again.
She said: “Obviously I’m really thankful for the invite. It’s so great to come back and play with a really strong field. I made the cut last year and I finished really low in the cut so obviously I want to make the cut and finish quite high. My putting is better and my game is better so why not?
“It’s one of the biggest events in the world and to see all the girls who are all the strongest girls in the world; they treat us really well in there and we have really nice dinners and the golf course is good so I think everyone is excited about it.”
She feels that the course, which sits above the banks of Lake Geneva, plays to her strengths.
“It’s really a driving course. I got a little bit longer so you’ve got to drive it straight, which is one of my strengths. Putting is the main thing down there so I’ll be working on that,” she said.
Maria’s best performance this year, in her third season on the Ladies European Tour, was tied 12th at the Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco, however she also tied for ninth at the Comunitat Valenciana European Nations Cup in Spain, whilst playing alongside fellow Russian Anastasia Kostina, who plays on the US based Duramed Futures Tour.
“I had a good start and then I fell down,” explained Maria. “I had a few injuries. I’m coming back and my putting and driving is better. I played okay in Tenerife so it’s a good start for the Evian.”
After becoming the first Russian to compete at the Ricoh Women’s British Open in 2008, Maria is used to breaking barriers on the course and hopes to continue to blaze a trail, inspiring would-be golfers from her country.