US Invasion for Evian

The US Open is not the only big event this week. The Evian is one of the biggest in the world for the Ladies

Ladies European Tour
Wed, 14 Jun 2000

Victory in this week's Evian Masters will be quite some challenge, even for world number one, Karrie Webb. 32 champions from the last 12 months make up just under half the field for the Tour's richest ever event.

Australia's Karrie Webb comes to France the favourite for the event, which is joint-sanctioned between the Evian Tour and the LPGA. The 25-year-old has already amassed more than $700,000 dollars in prize-winnings on her way to six victories in Australia, the USA and Asia.

Webb has not played at Evian before however, a factor that the other players will be hoping to be significant during this year's tournament. The European on form at the moment is Sweden's Sophie Gustafson. The 26-year-old added last week's Irish Open to her two other victories this year, the Chick-fil-A in America and the Ladies Italian Open.

Gustafson said on winning the £15,000 cheque in Ireland that Evian is her big goal of the year.

"It is the biggest event of the year in Europe," she said of the £1000,000 event. "I want to win this year's Order of Merit and Evian plays a big part in it." Last year's Order of Merit winner, Laura Davies, is also on form so far this season. Although she has failed to bag her first win in Europe, she has already won twice the other side of the Atlantic, in the Los Angles Women's Championship and the Philips Invitational.

Sweden's Annika Sorenstam has also been playing well in America and has equalled Davies' winning rate this year. Her sister Charlotta, not to be outdone by Annika, proved her merit by becoming the first person to beat Webb in 2000, when she won the Standard Register Ping. She too will be a strong contender at Evian.

The Swede happiest to be back alongside Lac Leman will be last year's winner Catrin Nilsmark. Currently sixth on the 2000 Order of Merit, she will be hoping to repeat last year's performance when she beat Laura Davies by two shots to win the £100,800 first prize.

Being the first joint sanctioned event of the year with the LPGA, the Evian Masters will also see a large number of Americans negotiating the fairways. LPGA Hall of Famer, Betsy King, has also won twice this year and she brings an immense amount of experience to the event.

With three other Hall of Famers playing alongside the new stars in women's golf, this year's Evian Masters promises to be an exciting one.



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