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The Players to Watch on the Evian


The premier female golfers on the earth will tee off this Thursday on the Evian Resort Golf Club in France for the Amundi Evian Championship, the fourth of the LPGA Tour’s five majors in 2022.

The 12 months’s major winners include: Jennifer Kupcho (Chevron Championship), Minjee Lee (U.S. Women’s Open), and In Gee Chun (KMPG Women’s P.G.A. Championship). The ultimate major, the AIG Women’s Open, can be held in early August.

In last 12 months’s Evian Championship, Minjee Lee outdueled Jeongeun Lee6 on the primary playoff hole to capture her first major. Minjee Lee fired a 64 in the ultimate round, rallying from seven shots back to take the title.

Here’s who to look at this week:

Korda, the previous No. 1 and 2021 Olympic champion, has had a 12 months that she would surely wish to forget.

In January, she got Covid-19, which kept her on the sidelines for some time through the off-season.

Then, in March, she had surgery to remove a blood clot from her left arm. Korda didn’t return to the LPGA Tour until the U.S. Women’s Open in early June, where she finished in a tie for eighth. A few months before, she hadn’t been sure she would make it back in time for that tournament.

Two weeks later, Korda, 23, lost in a playoff to Kupcho on the Meijer L.P.G.A. Classic. In each of her first three rounds, Korda shot five under or lower, but she cooled off through the final round, firing an even-par 72. She went on to tie for thirtieth on the KPMG Women’s P.G.A. Championship in late June. She is ranked No. 3.

With two majors to go, Korda, whose older sister, Jessica, also plays on the LPGA Tour, still has a probability to make this 12 months memorable differently.

Lee, ranked No. 2, appears to be a think about nearly every major today.

That was the case again on the KPMG last month, where she had a probability to nab her third major title in under a 12 months.

Trailing by six strokes going into the ultimate round, she put pressure on the leaders. Lee, nevertheless, missed a pivotal 4-footer on 17, coming away with a bogey. She rebounded with a birdie at 18, but finished in a tie with Lexi Thompson, a shot behind In Gee Chun.

Lee, 26, who made her skilled debut on the Evian Championship in 2014 — she tied for sixteenth at that event — grew up in Perth, Australia. She took up the sport on the age of 10, and, in 2012, she won america Girls’ Junior championship. Just two years later, she had risen to turn out to be the No. 1 amateur on the earth.

It’s true: Ko had a disappointing showing recently on the KPMG, where she recorded rounds of 76 and 79 on the weekend to complete in a tie for forty sixth. But beyond that, Ko, a former No. 1, has been playing extremely well this season.

Before the KMPG, the Latest Zealander had finished fifth or higher in 4 of her past five appearances. In 12 starts, the KPMG was the one event through which she ended up placing lower than twenty fifth.

Ko, who won the Gainbridge L.P.G.A. in late January — edging Danielle Kang by a stroke — remains to be only 25 years old. That seems difficult to assume, given how long she’s been around. Ko was the tour’s rookie of the 12 months in 2014 and player of the 12 months in 2015, the youngest ever in each cases. That 2015 season was capped by a win within the Evian Championship, her first major title.

Like many top players, she’s had her struggles. After compiling 15 profession victories through 2018, Ko didn’t win again until the 2021 Lotte Championship. During that dry spell, she fell to as little as fifty fifth on the earth rankings; she has now climbed to No. 4.

For Thitikul, a rookie this 12 months, the longer term may arrive ahead of she thinks. It’d even be here already.

Only 19 years old, Thitikul of Thailand is now ranked No. 5 on the earth. On the KPMG, she finished fourth, just two shots behind Chun. Earlier this 12 months, Thitikul picked up her first tour victory on the JTBC Classic. It probably didn’t occur in quite the best way she would have imagined — she made a bogey on the second playoff hole to defeat Nanna Koerstz Madsen — but a win is a win. With that victory, Thitikul became the youngest winner on the LPGA Tour since Brooke Henderson in 2016.

“It’s just crazy in my mind straight away,” Thitikul said afterward. “I cannot consider that I became an LPGA winner.”

In 2017, when she captured the Ladies European Thailand Championship, Thitikul became the youngest to win on the Ladies European Tour. She was 14 years, 4 months and 19 days old on the time.

In June, Kupcho prevailed in a three-way playoff with Nelly Korda and Leona Maguire within the Meijer LPGA Classic.

Kupcho, ranked No. 9, almost blew it that day, missing a brief eagle putt on the primary playoff hole that will have ended the competition right there. Some players may need been flustered after a failure like that. Not Kupcho. On the second playoff hole, she made one other birdie, then pulled out the victory when Maguire missed a brief putt that will have prolonged the match.

Kupcho, who teamed with Lizette Salas to capture last week’s Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, collected her first profession win in April on the Chevron Championship. She had trouble on the back nine, but had began the day with a six-stroke advantage.

Over the subsequent two months, she clearly didn’t play her best, failing to interrupt into the top 15 in any of her six events.

Kupcho had a stellar profession as an amateur, winning each the N.C.A.A. Player of the 12 months award in 2018 and the primary Augusta National Women’s Amateur in 2019. She went pro later that 12 months and, in 2021, joined america players as they faced off against the Europeans within the Solheim Cup.

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