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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

My "5 to Watch" at the Evian

The final women's major of the year is upon us. (That sounds ominous, doesn't it?) This time it's the Evian Championship, held at the Evian Golf Club in Evian-les-Bains, France, which has been an LPGA major for only two years. The two past champions are Suzann Pettersen (2013) and Hyo Joo Kim (2014).

Past champions Suzann Pettersen and Hyo Joo Kim

As usual, Tony Jesselli has done a preview of the event which you can read by clicking this link. If for no other reason, check it out for a complete schedule of the broadcast times. GC's coverage is split into two broadcasts each of the first two days, a single broadcast on Saturday, and another split between GC and NBC on Sunday.

Anyway, let's get down to business. You're curious about who I think might win this thing, right?
  • Of course, I'd be stupid to leave Inbee Park off this list. She has won 6 of the last 14 majors and 2 of 4 this year, including the most recent one. Yeah, I think she's gonna be a favorite this week.
  • Sei Young Kim has never played the Evian. I'll be very interested to see how she does, as she has been off-form since the KPMG but has a T3 and a T9 in her last two starts. She definitely has the game for this mountainous course.
  • So Yeon Ryu has been close most of the year but has had trouble closing out events. However, with four Top5s in her last 6 starts, her game is definitely right there. And although she had a DQ after one round last year, she had a T4 in 2013. I really like her chances this year.
  • I'm taking two fliers this week. My first is Alison Lee. She's the only rookie on the US Solheim Cup team... and she qualified on points in only half the time the rest of the team had! Add two T8s and a T5 in her last 4 events (a lot of good players like Alison got cut at the RICOH) and I think she may surprise a few people.
  • Finally, as my second flier I'm taking Brooke Henderson. As noted in the sidebar, Brooke will likely need a T4 this week to qualify for the Asian Swing events. But the young Canadian player has shown a real talent for rising to the occasion in big events, having posted two T5s in majors this year. Some of the analysts say this course fits Brooke's game; I guess we'll find out!
Yeah, I know what you're thinking. I didn't pick Lydia Ko or Stacy Lewis, for example, mainly because I think they're trying too hard right now. I think the revamped Evian course is a bit too tricky for most of the power hitters at this point; they just haven't figured out where they need to throttle back yet. And while Karrie Webb may have something to prove after last year, I think she's a bit too far off-form right now.

Of course, I know I've been wrong before. My ability to choose badly is legendary! But as someone once said, even a broken clock is right twice a day. Surely I'll get one right eventually...

And just to make sure you don't miss the opener, GC's two broadcasts on Thursday start at 5am ET for three hours, then return at 9:30am ET for another three hours. I assume Morning Drive will fill in between the two.

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