Fingers crossed for Evian’s September swansong

The LPGA Tour heads to Evian-les-Baines in France this week for the fifth and final major of the year hoping to avoid a repeat of last year’s chaos.

It will be the last time that the tournament will be held in September after foul weather caused it to be shortened to 54 holes last year, the second time in the five years since its late season run began.

Last year’s champion Anna Nordqvist of Sweden believes the move back to July is probably for the best, if tour officials want the Evian to be held in as much esteem as the other four grand slam events – a problem the Evian has suffered with since it was designated the fifth major in 2013.

“I think major championships should be 72 holes, unless there’s certain circumstances where the golf (course) is unplayable,” she said recently.

“Given the circumstances last year, there just wasn’t much we could do, but a lot of times Monday finishes are options.”

Nordqvist will be looking to add a third major to her collection, but she’ll have to do so without a swing coach after deciding recently to trust in her own ability and go it alone.

Another Swede who will be relying on new-found self-esteem in France is Pernilla Lindberg. The 32-year old’s win at the year’s first major, the ANA Inspiration, earlier this year came somewhat out of the blue, given it was her first tournament win after nine years on tour.

Still, she says that win has given her added belief: “Obviously, I come into them with more confidence than before because I know that I have won one,” she said. “So I’ve just proven to myself and everyone else that I can win one of these.”

April’s win also means Lindberg is one of six players – along with Ariya Jutanugarn, Sung Hyun Park, Georgia Hall, Inbee Park and So Yeon Ryu – in with a chance of claiming the Rolex ANNIKA Major Award for the player with the best record in all five majors.

One player who sadly won’t get the chance to add to her major tally in France is Michelle Wie. The 2014 US Open winner has pulled out of the tournament as she continues to have problems with her right hand.

The 28-year old was forced out of the British Open early last month after just 12 holes and has not sufficiently recovered enough to tee off despite being cleared to start putting two weeks ago.

Wie, with one victory this year at the HSBC Championship in Singapore in March, is hoping to be fit enough to play for Team USA at the UL International Crown in Korea next month.

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