EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France, July 20 – The Evian Masters will become the fifth major in women’s golf in 2013 and will be renamed The Evian, it was announced on Wednesday.
The news was revealed on the eve of this year’s tournament and the upgrade in status will include a complete revamp of the current course and a switch of date to September.
“This is an historic day,” said the LPGA Commissioner, Mike Whan.
“The Evian Masters course is one of the greatest settings and has one of the greatest fields in women’s golf. It will now become our fifth and final major of the year.”
The four current majors are the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the LPGA Championship, the US women’s Open and the Women’s British Open.
The Evian Masters was first staged as a Ladies’ European Tour event in 1994 and was then co-sanctioned by the US-based LPGA Tour in 2000.
It now attracts 81 of the world’s best players and, this year, carries a 2.29 million euro prize fund which puts it alongside the US Women’s Open as the joint richest event in women’s golf.
For Franck Riboud, Founder and President of the Evian Masters and President of the Danone Group that sponsors the tournament, the award of major status is a dream come true.
“We started so many years ago and it is wonderful that we are now going to be a major,” he said.
“The Evian will take place from September 12-15 in 2013 and the field will be increased to around 100.
“The course will have a whole new look and will make the best use of the backdrop of the Alps and the Lake.
“Next year, the Evian Masters will take place as usual in July and then work will start to make the changes.”
Australia’s Karrie Webb, the 2006 Champion, has already won seven majors, and she said: “The LPGA is very lucky to have the backing of a worldwide company and it is great that Evian is going to become a major.”
Yani Tseng, the world No.1 from Taiwan and already a four-time major winner at the age of 22, added: “It is very exciting to have a new major and I would love to win this title.”