The final Major of the year takes place next week as the Evian Resort Golf Course in Evian-les-Bains, France, hosts the Evian Championship, on September 14-17.
The Evian Masters, which ran for 19 years at the Evian Resort from 1994 until 2012, gained a new name and an elevated status in 2013, when it became the scene of Suzann Pettersen’s second Major victory.
Pettersen has a huge chance again this year as do the other three recent champions, Hyo Joo Kim, Lydia Ko and In Gee Chun, who have each set all-time worldwide Major records in the tournament respectively.
The year after its debut, the 2014 championship exceeded all expectations when 19-year-old Korean Hyo Joo Kim opened with an all-time Major record of 61 (-10) and went on to claim the trophy.
In 2015, the tournament had matured, but the fierce competition was getting younger. Lydia Ko claimed the title at just 18 years, four months and 20 days and became the youngest winner of a women’s major in golf history.
Ko seemed to come from nowhere on the last day, eventually ending six strokes ahead of Lexi Thompson.
“Shooting eight-under on any day is a very good round, but on the final day of a Grand Slam, playing like that is a dream come true,” Ko said afterwards.
In 2016, the event produced yet another all-time Major record – the third in three years – when South Korean In Gee Chun led from start to finish to post 21-under-par 263 for 72 holes. It was her second Major title following the 2015 US Open and the 22-year-old said: “I feel like I’m dreaming!”
While the players have been able to realise their goals, the dreams of the tournament’s founders, Antoine and Franck Riboud, have now become reality.
A unique Major championship, offering the perfect balance of tradition and innovation whilst respecting golf etiquette, with unfailing support from the players, sponsors, caddies, public and volunteers: the tournament keeps getting better.
Europe’s best players now have the tremendous opportunity to play at the Evian Resort Golf Club twice in one season, through the Jabra Ladies Open, the European qualification event which also doubles as a tournament on our developmental tour, the LET Access Series.
Isabelle Boineau and Johanna Gustavsson earned their tickets for The Evian Championship after Boineau defeated Gustafvsson in a play-off for the 2017 Jabra Ladies Open. This will be Boineau’s second consecutive appearance at The Evian, after she finished in 48th position last year.
Boineau and the other players paid tribute to the quality of the course at the Evian Resort Golf Club after a further phase of works and transformations during the winter. “Well done to Adrien, the greenkeeper, the greens were great. I made lots of putts!” she said, while her rival, Gustavsson, added: “I feel really good on this course. A really fantastic course! I can’t believe it, I am going to play a Major!”
Alongside Jabra, which invests increasingly in women’s golf, Société Générale once again gave support to The Evian Championship qualifiers by providing financial aid to the two players selected to become part of Team Société Générale.
Do-Yeon Kim, who turned pro in 2009, won The Evian Challenge held in Korea (26 June to 7 August) to earn her place in The Evian Championship 2017. Meanwhile another Frenchwoman, Marion Ricordeau, qualified for her place in the field, along with Brittany Marchand, via the Symetra Tour.
In pursuit of the Majors
The Evian Championship is the last chance for the 120 players in the field to make an impression in the Majors in 2017.
The world number one, So Yeon Ryu, is currently at the helm, with five Korean players in the world’s top 10 and In Gee Chun, the world number five, will be particularly keen to retain her title.
The first four Majors of 2017 have been won by Ryu (ANA Inspiration), world number two Sung Hyun Park (US Women’s Open), world number seven In Kyung Kim (Ricoh Women’s British Open) and world number 21 Danielle Kang (KPMG PGA Women’s Championship).
Ryu, who has triumphed twice this season among her 10 top-10 finishes on the LPGA Tour, is in prime position to become the winner of the 2017 Rolex ANNIKA Major Award for the best overall record in this year’s five major championships. Following her victory at the ANA Inspiration and a tie for third at the U.S. Women’s Open, she has a healthy lead of 18 points in the RAMA standings heading into the year’s final major. The champion of champions will be named after The Evian Championship 2017, and succeed Michelle Wie (2014), Inbee Park (2015) and Lydia Ko (2016).
There are 36 Ladies European Tour members in the field, including all 12 members of the recent European Solheim Cup team: Georgia Hall, Florentyna Parker, Melissa Reid, Charley Hull, Jodi Ewart-Shadoff, Anna Nordqvist, Karine Icher, Carlota Ciganda, Catriona Matthew, Emily Kristine Pedersen, Madelene Sagstrom and Caroline Masson.
Dame Laura Davies qualifies as a past Evian Masters champion, while Azahara Muñoz, Beth Allen, Anne Van Dam, Supamas Sangchan, Aditi Ashok, Mel Reid, Klara Spilkova, Florentyna Parker and Atthaya Thitikul, 14, all qualified as the recent winners of tournaments on the Ladies European Tour.