Evian Championship preview and 4 players to watch (& 4 European players to keep an eye on).
Evian Championship (Major)
Location: Evian, France
Course: Evian Resort Golf Club
Prize Fund: $4,100,000
Defending Champion: Angela Stanford (USA) (-12)
Its back to back major week!! who else is excited? First up is the Evian Champioship at the Evian Resort. The Evian Resort is one of my favorite courses, it's set on Lake Leman in South East France, It's a beautiful course set up in the hills over the town of Evian with views out over the lakes and the Alps in the background.
In 2000 the Evian Championship became a co-sanctioned event with the LPGA and n 2013, it was elevated to the LPGA’s fifth major. “Fans and players will be treated to a new back-nine par configuration on holes 13 and 18,” Daly-Donofrio says Chief Tour Operations Officer for the LPGA . “No. 13 shifts to a very difficult par-4 with a narrow landing area and an approach shot requiring a mid-to-long iron into an undulating green. No. 18 returns to a par-5, creating risk and reward opportunities for the players and additional excitement for the fans. Look for these changes to bring some major swings to the scoreboard on championship Sunday.”
You need to be a good putter to win round here, with the big sloped greens. Angela Stanford won here last year with 28 putts per round. You don't need to be too long but finding those greens could be crucial as you can be punished by missing even slightly with some big drop offs around the greens. Below we look at 4 players who could be lifting the trophy come Sunday afternoon.
Sei Young Kim (South Korea)
Sei Young Kim is having a great year. She has had 2 victories already this year to take her career victories to 9. She won the Mediheal Championship in May and the Marathon Classic a few weeks ago.
The 5ft 3 South Korean is 9th for birdies this year and that will be key here this week, she is also 17th in putts per GIR with 1.78.
It appears she relishes playing here at the Evian Resort, her previous results are; last year she finished runner up by 1 shot. In 2017 she finished 6th 2 shots back, in 2016 she was 5th and in 2015 11th. Pretty remarkable not to be outside 11th in her last 4 starts here! We think she will e the one to beat this week.
Jeongeun Lee6 (South Korea)
What a rookie season this is for 6. She clinched her first win at the US Open where she won by 2 shots. On top of that she has 6 top 10 finishes in her 14 starts which included a runner up spot the week after her US Open win.
She 4th in rounds under par this year which is a good indication to how well she is playing.
She made her debut at the Evian Championship last year where she finished 6th just 2 shots off the winning score. Can she win 2 majors in her rookie season?
Shanshan Feng (China)
It's been a strange few years for Feng who looked like dominating women's golf when she got to world number 1. However, a poor 2018 has now been put behind her and she looks to have rediscovered her old form in recent weeks non more so than her victory at the Thornberry Creek Classic at the beginning of July with a closing round of 63 to win by 1. She has also had 4 top 10's this season.
Feng is 6th this season in GIR with 75.26% which will be key around the Evian course.
She finished 44th here last year but had better results when her game was stronger in 2017 and 2018 finishing 6th and 4th respectively.
Sung Hyun Park (South Korea)
Park, has had 2 wins and 5 top 10's in her 12 starts this season and has also moved back to world number 1. Her wins came at HSBC women's world championships in February and at the Arkansa Championship at the end of June.
In the last 3 years she missed the cut her last year after an opening round of 77, finished 26th in 2017 and was the runner up the year before in 2016.
In terms of stats she should suit the course as this year she is 4th in putts per GIR with 1.749 and 3rd in GIR with 76.3%. Can the world number 1 show us what she is all about?
Some Europeans to watch out for on home soil:
Pauline Roussin Bouchard (a) who finished runner up here earlier in the year on the LET . The french youngster is having a great season
Celine Boutier another French player is having a great year on the LPGA. She picked up her breakthrough win on the LPGA. can she create history on home soil. For me a definite pick for the Solheim Cup.
Nuria Iturrioz Nuria cant stop winning this year with back to back victories on the LET and winning on the Symetra Tour, can she show what she is made of on the big stage?
Esther Henseleit The German player is having a rookie season to remember on LET. She rarely is outside the top 10 and has been denied victory on more than 2 occasions on the last hole. Led at the US Open earlier in the year.