The Evian Championship, the fifth and final women’s golf Major of the season, tees off on Thursday 13 September. The 120 leading players in the world make up the field for a tournament which in keeping with the season promises to be closely fought. Who will succeed Anna Nordqvist as the winner of this 25th edition? The answer will be revealed on Sunday 16 September.
A few days prior to the launch of the Major, the 120-strong final field for The Evian Championship 2018, with representatives from 25 nations, is confirmed, promising an exceptional show to round off the women’s grand slam season. With its purse increased to $3,850,000, the second highest in women’s golf this year, the tournament attracts all of the top international players. For several weeks now, the battle for the number 1 ranking has been raging between Korea’s Sung Hyun Park (aged 24) and Thai player Ariya Jutanugarn (aged 22). While Ariya began the fight by claiming the world number 1 position after her win at the US Women’s Open and reclaiming it at the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open, it is the young Korean who has regained the lead, retaliating with her Major win at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Both players have three victories to their name in 2018, but at The Evian Championship, Sung Hyun Park seems to be at an advantage, having finished as the runner-up in Evian in 2017, while Ariya Jutanugarn only finished 9th last year.
Among the favourites, we are also counting on the Koreans So Yeon Ryu and the Olympic champion Inbee Park, as well as of course the American star Lexi Thompson, all three in the world’s top three, to set the pace. Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist, the Evian Championship winner 2017, will have her work cut out holding on to her title, in particular because the stakes for the final victory are twofold with the Rolex Annika Major Award presenting its trophy to the champion of champions who performs best at the year’s five majors. Sweden’s Pernilla Lindberg (winner of the ANA Inspiration) and the young English player Georgia Hall (winner of the RICOH Women’s British Open – world number 9, aged 22) have a chance to capture the award, last given to So Yeon Ryu in 2017.
The young players present in the world’s elite resonate with the policy implemented by the tournament board to promote the emergence of the champions of tomorrow. Three wildcards have been awarded to amateurs: amateur world number 6, Swiss player Albane Valenzuela (aged 20), the American Rachel Heck (aged 16), Rolex Girls Junior Player of the Year and the youngest amateur to make the cut at the US Women’s Open 2018 aged 15, and the American Alana Uriell (aged 22), chosen by her peers at the latest Arnold Palmer Cup held in July in Evian. The 4th exemption was awarded to professional player Natalie Gulbis, Evian Masters champion 2007.
Four further players have been given the opportunity to be part of the field via the Qualifying events: the Europeans Astrid Vayson de Pradenne (Fra) and Karolin Lampert (Ger) at the Jabra Ladies Open, Hae-Ran Ryu (Kor) in Asia and Lauren Coughlin (USA) in the USA.
This means there will be four French players in the prestigious field for The Evian Championship 2018: Céline Boutier, Céline Herbin, Camille Chevalier and Astrid Vayson de Pradenne.
First tee time: 7.30 am from holes 1 and 10.
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