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Evian Championship- Golf: Preview

19 July 2022 11:54:46 EST
The best female golfers in the world head for France this week

The fourth of the five women's majors takes place in France this week, with the Evian Championship at the Evian Resort Golf Club.

Can any of the European contingent lay claim to a Major win for the first time in 2022?

What

Evian Championship

Where

Evian Resort GC, Evian-les-Bains, France

When

Thursday 21st – Sunday 24th July

How to watch

Sky Sports Golf

Odds

Minjee Lee 10.00, Nelly Korda 10.00, Lydia Ko 15.00, Jin Young Ko 15.00, Atthaya Thitikul 17.00, Brooke Henderson 23.00

The first three majors, all held in the United States, produced three different winners from three different countries – but none from Europe.

America's Jennifer Kupcho claimed her maiden major at the Chevron Championship in the spring before Australian superstar Minjee Lee and Korean ace In Gee Chun copped last month at the US Open and US PGA respectively.

Since the Evian Championship joined the major rota in 2013 there have only been two European winners, Norway's Suzann Pettersen winning the inaugural running before Anna Nordqvist of Sweden went in five years ago.

It's about time there was a winner from this side of the pond on the shores of Lake Geneva – yet the odds suggest that might not be happening this year.

Minjee magic can inspire champ

World No.2 Minjee Lee is a well-fancied 9/1 chance and it's easy to see why.

The Aussie has been in fine form for a few years and has won twice on the LPGA Tour in 2022. She enjoyed her major success at Southern Pines in North Carolina, where she cruised to a four-shot victory, which came just a couple of weeks after landing the Founders Cup in New Jersey.

But it's at Evian-les-Bains where the 26-year-old made her major breakthrough last year – and in the kind of style that can only have her licking her lips at the prospect of teeing it up again in this corner of France.

The Aussie was a colossal seven strokes off the lead after round three 12 months ago with the whole field having been spread-eagled by Jongeun Lee6, who was five ahead with just the one round remaining.

And in fairness, Jongeun didn't do a lot wrong on the Sunday, shooting level par. Minjee Lee, in contrast, did everything right, powering her way to a stunning 64 to force a playoff where she made a tournament-winning birdie at the first extra hole.

It matched the largest come from behind success in a women's major and illustrated that you can barely ever write her off.

Korda heads American charge

There's inevitably a decent American collective heading for the Evian Resort Golf Club, a 6,428 yard, par 71 layout, designed by architect Steve Smyers and given a major facelift back in 2012 to get up to major status.

The US quota isn't quite at full strength with world No.6 Lexi Thompson an absentee, but 9/1 shot Nelly Korda is still going to have her backers despite enduring a year she would rather forget.

She has had a few top-tens and near-misses but is still trying to find top gear after injury issues and it's entirely possible she will play second fiddle to her sister Jessica, who is available at 30/1.

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Classy Kupcha a big danger

One American definitely being talked up is Jennifer Kupcha, on offer at a tempting 35/1.

Chevron champion in April, she proved that was no fluke by winning last month's LPGA Classic at Blythefield, seeing off Nelly Korda and Leona Maguire in a playoff.

She then teamed with Lizette Salas to capture last week's Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational.

Now up to nine in the world she can do virtually no wrong and has to fancy her chances on a course where she carded a final round 66 to finish tied for second in 2019.

Maguire heads European hopes

Lydia Ko and Jin Young Ko at 14/1 and Canada's Brooke Henderson, a recent winner on the LPGA Tour, at 22/1 will be supported, but what of the Europeans?

Ireland's Leona Maguire ought to be a name on many lips, going back to a course where she shot a 61 last year.

Maguire was faultless at the Solheim Cup and trained on by winning in Florida in January, but lost her clubs in transit to France which can't have helped. The luck of the Irish – though not in a good way. She's a 45/1 shot.

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