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Golf Australia Express : Issue 3
THE EVENT With a total prize purse of €2,437,500, the Evian Masters is the richest tournament on the LPGA Tour along with the US Women’s Open. Yet it wasn’t until 2000 that this event—a major on the LET—became co-sanctioned with its big sister, the LPGA. Founded in 1994 and hosted at Evian Masters Golf Club (with the exception of 2003), the event is well positioned as a lead-in event to the Ricoh Women’s British Open. The best of the best want to win here and the winners list reflects that. Sorenstam (SWE), Davies (ENG), Inkster (USA), Creamer (USA), Miyazato (JPN), Alfredsson (SWE) and our own Karrie Webb have tasted Evian success—a pure drop indeed. Now into its 18th year, the 2011 Evian Masters is all grown up, and is proving to be a rite of passage for hopefuls on the women’s tours. MASTERS CLASS GOLF’S FRENCH CONNECTION THE COURSE Featuring magnificent views of Lake Geneva and the surrounding Alpine summits, the Evian Masters Golf Club offers a stunning panorama for players and spectators. At an altitude of 500 metres above sea level and facing Lausanne, this was one of the first golf courses in France that rapidly attracted visitors thanks to its captivating views and colourful vegetation. But players this week will need to keep their focus on the ultimate prize. The 6054-metre course is highly technical and with its well-defended greens and narrow fairways, it holds many surprises for players distracted by its beauty. Impressive as they were, Na Yeon Choi (KOR), Alexis Thompson (USA) and Morgan Pressel (USA), couldn’t quite get to the line to match the 14 under total posted by the then world No.1, Jiyai Shin. The Korean’s one-shot win was her first for 2010, and was fashioned by a birdie at the last to complete a superb bogey-free five under par round. The back nine provided some fascinating golf. Pressel played solidly but couldn’t manage a birdie. Choi picked up shots on 14, 15, 16 and 17. But the story of the event— not to take anything away from Jiyai—was the stunning performance of 15-year- old Thompson. In just her third event as a professional she gave the golf world an insight to her enormous talent. Birdies at 17 and 18 highlight her ability to go all the way to the line. PEEK THE AN EVIAN MASTERS PREVIEW July 21-24, 2011 Evian Masters Golf Club, Evian-les-Bains, FRANCE Purse: €2,437,500 Defending Champ: Jiyai Shin (KOR) LAST TIME