The LPGA Tour has five majors and this past weekend the fourth was played in France at the Evian Resort Golf Club, the aptly named Evian Championship. Canada’s Brooke Henderson won by one shot from fast finishing Sophie Schubert, with five players sharing a tie for third including our friend from across the ditch Lydia Ko.
Australia’s Hannah Green and Stephanie Kyriacou finished on 277 (-7) to share a tie in 31st. Minjee Lee finished on -3 in T43 and Sarah Kemp T54 (-1).
Here’s the full report from the LPGA;
Brooke Henderson survived a rollercoaster final round and birdied the last hole to win the Amundi Evian Championship by one shot at 17-under-par at Evian Resort Golf Club in France.
The 24-year-old from Smiths Falls, Ontario, entered the final round with a two-shot lead but struggled out of the gates, dropping a shot at her first hole and then making a four-putt double bogey on the sixth, to lose her outright lead.
However, after sinking a birdie putt on the seventh hole and then making the turn in two-over-par, Henderson fought hard on the back nine to grind out the win and earn the first prize cheque, worth $1 million USD.
She bogeyed 11 but made back-to-back birdies on 14 and 15 to join the leaders on 16-under-par and then made a clutch putt from 12 feet below the hole on the par-5 18th to close it out, coming home in 34 for a level par round of 71.
“After I sunk that putt, I looked at my sister, Brittany, and said: did we really do this?,” commented Henderson, who won her first major at the 2016 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and is now in her eighth season on the LPGA Tour.
“It was definitely an interesting day and not the start I wanted, but I stayed patient. I knew going into the back nine, the saying is that majors are won on the back nine on Sunday, so I tried to stay in it and make a few birdies. The birdie on 18 was really nice.
“I didn’t play my best today but I kept trying to remind myself that I was still in it. I hit some good shots down the stretch. I’m super excited to have my second major championship and my 12th win on Tour. We’ll wait and see what the rest of the season holds.
“I’ve worked a lot with my coach and just spending time with my mum back home got me into the right headspace and gave me some perspective. To have two victories this year is exciting. It’s just having the right mindset and I’ll try to keep that moving forward.”
Schubert finished in solo second on 16-under after a 68 which included a spectacular back nine, featuring birdies on the 11th, 12th and 15th holes.
“I had a great caddie who really helped me to stay calm today,” said the 26-year-old LPGA Rookie from Oak Ridge, Tennessee. “I had a game plan and stuck to it today and was able to just go out and play. I looked at the leader board and saw that I was two behind and after that I made an effort not to look, because I just wanted to focus on my game.”
England’s Charley Hull, Spain’s Carlota Ciganda, Japan’s Mao Saigo, New Zealand’s Lydia Ko and the 2014 champion Hyo-Joo Kim of Korea tied for third place on 15-under-par.
Hull said: “I just feel happy at the minute and I like the Europe swing. Today I got my driver going a lot better. I spoke to my coach right before I teed off and he gave me a few little things. It feels good to be back in contention in a major.”
Sweden’s Linn Grant and England’s Georgia Hall both saved their best until last, closing with rounds of seven-under-par 64 and 65 respectively to finish in a tie for eighth place on 13-under-par with Rolex Rankings number one Jin Young Ko, last year’s Race to Costa del Sol winner Atthaya Thitikul, Sei Young Kim, Nelly Korda and So Yeon Ryu.
Hall had two eagles on her card, at the par-5 ninth and par-5 18th holes and she said: “On nine, I had a perfect yardage. The pin was really tucked on the right-hand side. I had to hit a little 3-wood all week, and I was really happy to have a little further in. I kind of cut a 3-wood over the bunker and ended up about 20 feet away and went straight in the middle for eagle.
“On 18, I was in between clubs and I had a hanging lie and hit a little 7-iron in to about 15 feet, and, again, it went straight in the middle. My putting was probably the best it's been all year today. I’m very happy with my progress.”
Meanwhile Grant, making her championship debut, said: “It was a good day. I made very few mistakes. Just to finish it off with three birdies in the last four was very nice. I told Pontus on the last couple of holes, three more and we're done. Three more birdies and we can go.
“I love the course; it's beautiful. I also like that you can score really well, but it's also difficult if you're having a bad day, so I think it's a good golf course, and just to be in Evian is really nice. The weather is beautiful and we just had a great week.
“I'm just very happy with today. I feel like the last two days before that I've not struggled, but felt like I had more to give, and I think I got that out of me today, which I'm very happy about.”
In the 2022 Race to Costa del Sol, second-placed Grant edged closer to the leader Maja Stark, who missed the cut in Evian, although Stark followed her friend throughout the final round, walking the fairways from outside the ropes and the pair greeted each other with a chest-bump and a hug afterwards. With 2,397.5 and 2,201.49 points respectively, Stark leads Grant by 196 points heading into next week’s Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open, while Georgia Hall has moved up one place into the top 10. A victory at Dundonald Links is worth 625 points, while any LET member who wins the following week’s AIG Women’s Open at Muirfield will earn 675 points, setting up an intriguing fortnight in Scotland.