Evian was the first designer bottled water in the United States courtesy of France and this week, the good folks at Evian have themselves a major championship on the LPGA Tour thanks to a lot of money.
This was your normal Ladies European Tour event until 2000 when the tournament coughed up enough money with the provision that it become a major championship and voila! — five women’s majors.
COVID-19 wiped out last year’s event and this year it was a tough call for a lot of the big name players — especially those who are playing in the Olympics next week in Tokyo.
Americans Danielle Kang and Lexi Thompson, both playing for the USA in Tokyo, are skipping the long trip to France. Same for Japan’s Nasa Hataoka.
Good news for the Evianites is that both the Korda sisters — Jessica and world’s No. 1 Nelly — will be playing this week at the Evian Resort Golf Club there on the scenic banks of Lake Geneva.
Former world No. 1 Jin Young Ko and winner of the 2019 Evian, is back.
When all is said and done, there are about 4.5 million good reasons to show up and that’s the total purse for this week’s championship.
Did we mention that the Olympics don’t pay squat?
First round action in France begins on Thursday.
USGA Will Stage 13 Amateur Championships At Bandon Dunes:
Apparently the United States Golf Association had fallen head-over-heels in love with Bandon Dunes.
The USGA announced Tuesday that Bandon will host 13 USGA championships over the next 24 years, including a Walker Cup and a pair of back-to-back U.S. men’s and women’s amateur championships.
“Mr. Keiser (Bandon Dunes owner/founder) has gotten up on numerous occasions and said, We love the USGA’s mission, we want to support it, your championships are a huge part of that mission and we love amateur golf; we would host a USGA championship every year at Bandon Dunes,” the USGA’s senior managing director of championships, John Bodenhamer said. “Well, after hearing that two or three times, I thought it was appropriate to call the question. Mr. Keiser was serious, and we took him up on his gracious offer, and we put this schedule together from the standpoint of really showcasing these great championships at one of the world’s – not just our country’s – greatest sites.”
The competitions begin next year when Bandon Dunes, the first of what is now five championship golf courses along the Oregon coast, hosts the 2022 U.S. Junior Amateur on July 25-30. Bandon Trails will serve as the stroke-play co-host.
Note to all future participants and families: Bandon Dunes is pretty much in the middle of nowhere.
European Tour Heads To Celtic Manor:
The European Tour is back in action after a great Open Championship. This week’s site is a familiar one — Celtic Manor in Wales — and the event has a funky name — the Cazoo Open.
A lot of the familiar names on the European Tour are taking a breather after a week at Royal St. George’s, others are preparing for next week’s Olympic competition in Tokyo.