Every year, the world’s finest female golfers get the chance to put their skills to good use in the LPGA tournaments happening in various corners of the world. To be precise, there are five major LPGA championships today. The tours were founded in the fifties and have evolved several times since then, with the number of tours averaging two to three per year. That time is behind us now; currently there are five annual LPGA championship tours after the Evian Championship joined the league of the most coveted tournaments in women golf in 2013.The other four are the ANA Inspiration, U.S. Women’s Open, Women’s PGA Championship and Women’s British Open.
Prior to becoming the Evian Championship in 2013, the tournament used to be known as the Evian Masters and it was just a regular LPGA stop. By becoming the fifth LPGA tour championship, it has once again elevated France on the global map, being the only women’s major in continental Europe. It all started in 1994, when Antoine Ribond the founder and former president of Danone, together with his son, thought of creating a platform to showcase golf competitions on the Ladies European Tour (LET). It continued to feature as a major LET destination until 2000 when it became an official LPGA Tour event. The event continued on a growth trajectory with its prize money increasing accordingly. Currently, its purse holds $3.65 million, making it the second-richest in women’s golf after the US Women’s Open, which has prize money of $5 million.
The Evian Championship is held at the Evian Resort Golf Club in Evian-Les-Bains which is one of the most picturesque sceneries at the foot of the Evian Mountain. It has become commonplace for players to gush about the scenery as they stroll the course amid majestic views overlooking Lake Geneva. Suzann Petterson, who was the first major winner immediately after the contest was elevated to the Evian Championship in 2013, could not hold her jubilation at becoming the first winner in an event which she claimed was on the top of her bucket list. She gave her take on the scenery which she referred to as breathtaking, romantic and unique. She noted how it made her feel rejuvenated every time she awoke in the morning, to spend another day in a place surrounded by such stunningly beautiful topography.
The event used to take place from June to July but it was pushed back to September upon acquiring its new title, making it the last competition of its kind in the calendar year. This year, women champions are expected to battle it out between September 14th and 17th in the event that is expected to see more than 120 of the best women golfers participate. Last year it saw 120 players start it off, with only 72 surviving to the end. Normally the cut is set at 70 scores, and after the second round, those scoring 70 and below continue to participate in the remaining rounds, with the winner determined at the end of the tournament based on overall performance.
Those scoring above 70 are eliminated after the second round. Last year the competition took place between September 15th and 18th, where South Korean In Gee Chun won with 21 under par and took home more than $520,000 in prize money. She also set a new world record for the lowest score in a major tournament for both genders.