Recent champion headlines S. Korean contingent at 4th LPGA major of season

The latest LPGA major champion Amy Yang will lead the South Korean contingent at the fourth major tournament of the season, teeing off in the French Alps this week.

Yang will be one of 18 South Korean players at the Amundi Evian Championship, which will begin Thursday at Evian Resort Golf Club in Evian-les-Bains, France.

Yang won the third major of the season, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, on June 23. She became the first South Korean winner on the LPGA Tour this year and the country’s first LPGA major champion in two years.

Following her maiden major title, Yang jumped 20 spots in the world rankings to reach her season-high No. 5 and qualified for this year’s Paris Olympics in the process.

Two fellow Olympians for South Korea, world No. 3 Ko Jin-young and No. 13 Kim Hyo-joo, have both won the Evian Championship before — Ko in 2019 and Kim in 2014.

Ko will be chasing her first LPGA win since May last year. Kim won a Ladies European Tour (LET) event held in South Korea in May, but she has not won a
n LPGA event since October 2023.

These LPGA veterans will be playing alongside KLPGA stars, including a pair of three-time winners this season in Lee Ye-won and Park Ji-young.

Lee and Park are second and third on the KLPGA money list, respectively, and second and fourth in the KLPGA Player of the Year points standings.

They will be up against the likes of defending champion Celine Boutier, the first Frenchwoman to win the Evian Championship, and the surging American veteran Ally Ewing, who has notched four consecutive top-five finishes. The 31-year-old tied for third at the U.S. Women’s Open and tied for fifth at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, the last two major tournaments.

World No. 1 Nelly Korda, who has won an LPGA-best six tournaments this year, will return to action after missing her last three cuts, the first time in her career that she has missed three consecutive cuts. And after failing to make it to the weekend at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, Korda announced on social media she had bee
n bitten by a dog. Though Korda didn’t offer details on the severity of her injury, she was forced to withdraw from an LET event in London that she had planned to play last week before traveling to France for the Evian Championship.

This will be the 30th edition of the Evian Championship, which began in 1994 as an LET event. In 2000, it became a co-sanctioned tournament on both the LET and LPGA circuits. The tournament was elevated to major championship status in 2013.

After the 2020 tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the purse jumped from US$4.1 million in 2019 to $4.5 million in 2021. It reached $6.5 million in 2022, with the winner taking home $1 million. The $8 million purse this year is the largest in tournament history, as is the winner’s share of $1.2 million.

Source: Yonhap News Agency