Preview: LPGA Tour’s Evian Championship

Preview — LPGA Tour – Evian Championship — Evian Resort Golf Club – Evian-les-Bains, France –

With three major championships already won this season, Rolex Ranking No. 1 Inbee Park aims at the Grand Slam with a fourth major this week at the Evian Championship.

Park shoots for golf’s Grand Slam – winning four major championships in the same calendar year – although she came up short at the Women’s British Open. Fortunately for her and golf fans, the LPGA Tour added the Evian as a 5th major beginning this year.

The former Evian Masters becomes the Evian Championship this week hosted at the same venue – Evian Resort Golf Club at Evian-les-Bains, France. The layout reaches 6,500 yards and plays to a par-72. Last year, it yielded some low rounds including Stacy Lewis’ opening-round 63.

Park will have to fend off World No. 2 Lewis, who has 13 Top 10s this year and three victories, along with red-hot Suzann Pettersen, who is coming off a Solheim Cup triumph and has three worldwide victories in 2013.

2012 Result:

  • The tournament’s final non-factor edition saw Inbee Park post a final-round 66 to win by two shots at 17-under. Her second-round 64 set the tone. Webb and Lewis were T-2, while Shanshan Feng, Natalie Gulbis and Hyo Joo Kim all recorded T-5 efforts. Creamer, Se Ri Pak and Beatriz Recari logged Top10s.

FANTASY: Lewis’ run of Top 10s has reached 13, so she’s a factor and refreshed after a draining Solheim Cup experience. A runner-up a year ago, Lewis won the RICOH Women’s British Open in Scotland to deny Park in August. Take Gulbis, who has a victory at Evian on her resume. She posted four rounds in the 60s here in last year and finished three back. Lydia Ko, now 8th in the Rolex Rankings, is a nice selection.

BETTING: Park (6-to-1 odds) is the outright betting favorite at 6-to-1 odds at and rightfully so with six victories in 2013. She has been feast of famine this season with just eight Top 10s. With the pressure of the Slam looming on Park’s shoulders, consider Hall of Famer Karrie Webb at 33-1. Webb was runner-up last year at this venue and is Rolex Ranking No. 6. Take Recari, at 40-1, who is looking for a first major.

The Golf Channel has the television coverage Thursday through Saturday and early coverage Sunday for the final round before NBC Sports helps bring home the leaders.

Other Golf News:

  • The PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup Playoffs returns to action this week at the BMW Championship where Tiger Woods is the outright betting favorite at 6-1.
  • The Tour Finals continues Thursday with the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship. Trevor Immelman and Andrew Svoboda won the first two legs of the four-event series. John Peterson has a T-5 and T-3 thus far in the Finals.
  • The European Tour hosts the KLM Open in the Netherlands this week. Peter Hanson captured the title a year ago, but he is not returning to defend. Simon Dyson, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Ross Fisher and Joost Luiten are all 16-1 selections at co-favorites. The field includes three-time major champion Padraig Harrington (40-1).