LPGA - Evian Masters Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, July 23rd through Sunday, July 26th
SITE: Evian Masters Golf Club, Evian-les-Bains, France
COURSE ARCHITECT: Built in 1904 (First nine); 1922 (Second nine)
         Cabell B. Robinson (1988-90)
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 6,373
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 361 yds10 - Par 4 388 yds
2 - Par 3 161 yds11 - Par 4 351 yds
3 - Par 4 355 yds12 - Par 4 412 yds
4 - Par 4 374 yds13 - Par 4 418 yds
5 - Par 4 333 yds14 - Par 3 196 yds
6 - Par 4 380 yds15 - Par 5 559 yds
7 - Par 5 526 yds16 - Par 4 311 yds
8 - Par 3 174 yds17 - Par 3 115 yds
9 - Par 5 482 yds18 - Par 5 477 yds
36 3,146 yds36 3,227 yds
Annual:  16th (10th year event on LPGA Tour)
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Friday -- 6:30-8:30 p.m. (et) - taped,
  Saturday/Sunday -- 1-4 p.m. (et) - taped
Defending Champion:  Helen Alfredsson
Runner-Up:  Na-Yeon Choi, Angela Park
Tournament Record:  267 (Juli Inkster, 2003)
54-Hole Record:  200 (Annika Sorenstam, 2002, 2004)
36-Hole Record:  134 (Maria Hjorth, 2001; Annika Sorenstam, 2002;
  Karen Stupples, 2004; Angela Park, 2008)
Course Record:  63 (Helen Alfredsson, 2008)
Total Purse:  $3,250,000
Shares:  1st Place - $487,500; 2nd Place - $321,382; 3rd Place - $230,000
2008 Finish
Helen Alfredsson *273Hee Young Park277
Na Yeon Choi273Cristie Kerr277
Angela Park273Shi Hyun Ahn277
Jin Joo Hong275Paula Creamer278
Lorena Ochoa276Juli Inkster278

* - Won in Playoff

Past Evian Masters Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2008*Helen Alfredsson (273) -- Na Yeon Choi, Angela Park
2007*Natalie Gulbis (284) -- Jeong Jang
2006Karrie Webb (272) -- Laura Davies, Michelle Wie
2005Paula Creamer (273) -- Michelle Wie, Lorena Ochoa
2004Wendy Doolan (270) -- Annika Sorenstam
2003Juli Inkster (267) -- Hee-Won Han
2002Annika Sorenstam (269) -- Maria Hjorth, Mi Hyun Kim
2001Rachel Teske (273) -- Maria Hjorth
2000*Annika Sorenstam (276) -- Karrie Webb
1999Catrin Nilsmark (279) -- Laura Davies
1998Helen Alfredsson (277) -- Maria Hjorth
1997*Hiromi Kobayashi (274) -- Alison Nicholas
1996Laura Davies (274) -- Carin Koch
1995Laura Davies (271) -- Annika Sorenstam
1994Helen Alfredsson (287) -- Sarah Gautrey, Lora Fairclough

* - Won in Playoff

Top Contenders in the Field
Helen Alfredsson---T-17T-54T-51T-11T-28T-5T-38T-43Won
Angela Park------------------------T-22T-2
Na Yeon Choi------------------------mcT-2
Lorena Ochoa------------T-33rdT-25thT-35th
Cristie Kerr------T-2510thT-7T-21T-4410thT-43T-6
Juli Inkster---T-31T-15---WonT-6T-32T-15T-3T-9
Paula Creamer------------------Won7thT-19T-9
Candie Kung---------T-65T-11T-53T-14T-11T-57T-11
Jiyai Shin------------------------T-3T-15
Meena Lee------------------T-5T-28T-38T-15
Natalie Gulbis------------T-21---T-32T-25WonT-17
Suzann Pettersen------T-11T-36T-21T-9T-53T-41T-43T-20
Karrie Webb---2ndT-21T-325th---13thWonT-12T-25
Morgan Pressel---------------------T-25T-12T-25
Yani Tseng---------------------------T-25
Inbee Park---------------------------T-34
Seon Hwa Lee---------------------T-5221stT-44
Wendy Doolan---T-57---T-2475thWonT-60T-68T-57T-44
Ji Young Oh---------------------------T-44
Ai Miyazato------------------T-57T-31T-22T-52
R. Hetherington---T-24WonT-3626thT-15T-48T-58T-30T-59
Mi Hyun Kim---T-5T-15T-2T-30T-9T-324thT-30T-62
Catrin NilsmarkWonT-47T-39T-30T-57T-6474thT-61mc69th
Laura Davies2ndT-24T-11T-32T-475thT-14T-2T-1270th
Brittany Lincicome---------------------T-68T-49mc
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Lorena Ochoa
Darkhorse - Tania Elosegui
Last week's Pick to Win (A.Stanford, C.Kerr, S.Pettersen) - MC, T-3, T-6
Last week's Darkhorse (S.Lewis, C.Kim, S.Feng) - T-48, T-52, T-48
The LPGA's best and brightest are across the pond for the next two weeks, for the Evian Masters followed by the Women's British Open. The limited field consists of 90 players, including world No. 1 Lorena Ochoa. Ochoa has recorded six straight top-five finishes at this event, but no wins. Forty-four of the top-50 on the LPGA money list are scheduled to compete.

Last year, Helen Alfredsson needed three extra holes to claim her third Evian Masters title. Alfredsson closed with a five-under 67 to join Na Yeon Choi and Angela Park at 15-under-par 273. Park made par on the first playoff hole, No. 18 at Evian Masters Golf Club, and was eliminated as Choi and Alfredsson made birdies. Alfredsson and Choi again made birdie on the second playoff hole, then Alfredsson made a third straight birdie on No. 18 to knock off Choi and become the first player to win this title three times, having previously won in 1994 and 1998. Alfredsson fired a 63 in the second round to establish a new course record at Evian Masters Golf Club.

This year, Alfredsson will try to join Laura Davies (1995-96) as the only back-to-back winners of this event. Annika Sorenstam has also won this event twice, winning in 2000 and 2002.

In 2007, Natalie Gulbis birdied the first playoff hole to defeat Jeong Jang and win the Evian Masters. It was her long-awaited first LPGA Tour title. Gulbis and Jang finished the event at four-under-par 284.

In 2006, Karrie Webb posted four rounds in the 60s, including a final-round 68 to hold off Michelle Wie and Davies by one to win the Evian Masters. Webb completed the event at 16-under-par 272 for her third of five victories in 2006.

This event is co-sanctioned by the LPGA Tour and the Ladies European Tour (LET). The following is the criteria for Evian Masters qualification: top-10 finishers at this event last year; LPGA tournament winners from 2008 and up until July 12, 2009; Ladies European Tour winners from 2008 and up until July 19, 2009; 2007-09 United States Women's Open and 2007-08 Women's British Open champions; LPGA Tour Hall of Fame members who have played in at least 10 official LPGA events in 2009; Evian Masters champions from 2000-08; Five golfers selected by an official Jury of the Evian Masters as sponsor exemptions, who must be either (a) a female golf professional or (b) a female amateur golfer with a handicap of 2.0 or less issued by a recognized golf association; The remaining spots shall be allocated according to the Rolex World Rankings as of July 13, 2009 for players who have not otherwise qualified under the above criteria.

The five players given exemptions into the field are: Caroline Rominger, Melissa Reid, Karine Icher, Maria Verchenova and Mika Miyazato.

Although this is the 16th Evian Masters, the tournament is in its 10th year on the LPGA Tour circuit. This is the richest tournament in women's professional golf, along with the U.S. Women's Open. The purse is $3,250,000 with the winner receiving $487,500.

The LPGA Tour moves to England next week for the RICOH Women's British Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club in Lancashire. Jiyai Shin captured the tournament last year for her first major championship.

07/21 21:48:33 ET

As of July 21, 2009, at 09:48 PM ET