History has been made ahead of the Evian Championship on the LPGA Tour and one of the leading contenders could also make more history in eastern France this week. This is the first time in the history of any Tour that a second major championship is being played in Europe in the same year. Inbee Park is trying to become the first professional player, male or female, to win four majors in a calendar year.
The golf analyst at Bet Enthusiast has done his research and made a selection for the fifth major in the women’s game. The tip is a former major champion who regularly plays in the Solheim Cup. New subscribers will be given the name of this player from the top 20 in the world rankings but a massive hint to her identity is that she always wears pink on the final day of tournaments.
Bet Enthusiast has developed a ratings system for golf tournaments on all the main Tours. The analysis is based on course form, current form and a player’s suitability to a course. Some players are above average in length and prosper on courses that put a premium on distance over accuracy. Shorter hitters develop a more accurate game that allows them to compete on tight courses.
The Evian Championship was established in 1994 and was formerly known as the Evian Masters. It has always been played on a course in the town of Haute-Savoie in eastern France that overlooks Lake Geneva. The course is the shortest of any of the five to host majors this season and is more suited to the accurate players.
The Evian Masters was traditionally played in the week before the Women’s British Open. That attracted some of the leading players from the United States and Asia who used the event to acclimatise to European conditions, even though a tricky short course besides a lake wasn’t the ideal preparation for the links courses in England and Scotland used for the Women’s Open.
As a consequence of so many players from beyond the European Tour playing in France the tournament joined the LPGA Tour in 2000. It continued to grow and became a major for the first time this year. Its development into a major is also reflected in the prize fund which makes the Evian Championship the richest event in women’s golf alongside the US Open.
Tiger Woods held all four majors at the same time but his wins spanned two seasons and he has never won four in the same year. Park arrived at St Andrews for the British Open having won the first three majors for females in 2013. She started well but faltered over the weekend so never contended but could still win a fourth major of the year in France.
Park combines solid current form with a decent bank of course form which includes winning the event last year. She scores well for the key accuracy skills and this looks to be a better opportunity than the Open to create history. She has a clear lead in the world rankings, ahead of second placed Stacy Lewis who won the Women’s Open last month. Park has never won a major in Europe but will now have two opportunities each year to add to her tally of five biggest prizes in golf.
European golf received a great boost from winning the Solheim Cup in the United States for the first time since the matches began in 1990. Of the European side playing in France Suzann Pettersen from Norway looks a leading contender. She is the only player in the field in the top 20 for driving accuracy, greens in regulation and GIR putting. Pettersen has the class to become Norway’s first multiple major golf champion.
At bigger prices Jodi Ewart Shadoff has the ability to win at this level. She is now a regular contender in majors and showed in the Solheim Cup that she has the game to join the game’s elite. The same could be said about the remarkable Charley Hull who at aged 17 finished second in her first five appearances as a professional on the European Tour. However, any player will have to be at their very best to prevent Park from creating sporting history.