Evian Championship, Minjee Lee defends title

Australian Minjee Lee, world number two, will defend the title in “The Amundi Evian Championship”, the fourth of the five seasonal female majors, organized in collaboration by LPGA Tour and Ladies European Tour, which takes place from 21 to 24 July at Evian Resort Golf Club of Evian-les-Bains in France. Almost all the best female players in the world are on the field with 27 of the top thirty of the Rolex Ranking, and the last seven of the eight winners of the event since it was elevated to the rank of majors in 2013.

Minjee Lee, Evian

Only one Italian on the field, the amateur Benedetta Moresco entered the field because she was voted for by the players who played with her the Palmer Cup (challenge between the US and International selections at the level of college students) who had to decide who to give, among the girls competing, exemption for the French major. A well-deserved recognition because the Moresco was one of the absolute protagonists of the event dedicated to the great Arnie.

On the eve of the tournament, the winners of the previous majors attracted attention, all going through a good time: Jennifer Kupcho (Chevron Championship), Minjee Lee herself (US Womens Open) and the Korean In Gee Chun (KPMG Women’s PGA Championship). Minjee Lee, 26, from Perth, six wins on the LPGA Tour with two majors, last year she took the title by recovering seven strokes to the Korean Jeongeun Lee6, a record in terms of comeback equaled, to then beat her in the playoff.

In Gee Chun she is back in the limelight after a period in the shadows and Jennifer Kupcho, the rising star of American golf, fresh from her third victory in 2022 and career obtained paired with Lizette Salas (Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational), perhaps enjoys the more credit, perhaps even for a pinch of parochialism. In the USA it is hoped that it will become the second American to win two majors this season after Juli Inkster back in 1999. Number nine in the ranking, she was the fifth athlete since 2018 to sign three tournaments in one year, including a major, a feat. a good omen, because the others who have succeeded have become world number one: the Thai Ariya Jutanugarn, the Korean Sung Hyun Park and Jin Young Ko and Nelly Korda.

They will all be in the race, but Jin Young Ko, the current world leader, has not recently appeared in good condition, while Nelly Korda (# 3) is among the most fit, returning after a long stop due to health problems ( blood clot in one arm). The others who are in the top ten were also quite fluctuating, the New Zealand Lydia Ko (n.4), the Thai Atthaya Thitikul (n.5), the Japanese Nasa Hataoka (n.7), the Korean Hyo-Joo Kim ( n.8), who scored in 2014, when she achieved with 61 (-10), later equaled (last time last year by the Irish Leona Maguire), the lowest score on the lap for a female major. The Canadian Brooke M. Henderson (# 10) expressed something more, while Lexi Thompson (# 6) will be absent.

The tournament, born in 1994, was under the aegis of the LET until 1999, then the collaboration with the LPGA Tour was born that led to the major. Among the winners Laura Davis, Annika Sorenstam, Paula Creamer, Karrie Webb and, after the transition to major, in order since 2014, Hyo-Joo Kim, Lydia Ko, In Gee Chun, Anna Nordqvist, Angela Stanford, Jin-Young Ko and Minjee Lee. Suzann Pettersen (2013) is no longer in business.

You have had a nice increase in the prize pool which has risen from 4,500,000 to 6,500,000 dollars.