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Debate

Can Celine Boutier defend her title, or will Nelly Korda steal the spotlight at Evian?

Sahalee Country Club saw Amy Yang clinch the third major of the season! Now, the LPGA Tour moves to its fourth major, the 2024 Amundi Evian Championship. The question then naturally pops up: Who would claim the crown for the upcoming event that will tee off on July 11 at the Evian Resort Golf Club? Well, the answer to that question will be known on the final day of play, on June 14, Sunday.

Aside from the title of champion and the crown, the golfers will also aim to take home a cut of the total prize pool of $8 million, as opposed to the $6.5 million set aside last year. However, while many would hope to do so, only one may emerge victorious at the end and claim all the glory at the prestigious tournament!

Celine Boutier hopes to defend her title at the Amundi Evian Championship

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The Amundi Evian Championship will witness a total of 132 golfers duking it out for the title of champion, as per the official field announced by the LPGA Tour. The field is filled with past champions of the tournament, major winners, top 10 on the Rolex Rankings, and LPGA Tour champs, not to mention the special invitations. But among all these golfers, there are bound to be a few favorites.

1. Celine Boutier: The 30-year-old athlete had emerged victorious at the 2023 edition of the tournament and would look to defend her title of champ at the upcoming event. Last year, she had dominantly beaten the likes of Brooke M. Henderson and Celine Borge at T2 and T3, respectively, with a score of 14-under 270 to win the event. She followed the same with two more wins at the Women’s Scottish Open and Maybank Championship. Fast forward to 2024 and she seems to be struggling with just one top-10 finish from 14 starts (a T2 at the HSBC Women’s World Championship). Regardless, she would be looking to clinch her second major win at the upcoming Amundi Evian Championship.

2. Nelly KordaAlthough the current No. 1 in the world has been having a rough patch lately, she is undoubtedly the best performer that the women’s circuit has witnessed this season. The 25-year-old boasts a total of 7 top-10 finishes, including six victories, one of which came at the 2024 Chevron Championship. Although she missed the cut in the next three tournaments, the American pro remains at the top of the world rankings with a tremendous lead and is, undoubtedly, a favorite among many.

USA Today via Reuters

3. Ayaka Furue: Even though the Japanese professional is ranked 21st on the Rolex Rankings, she is one of the best that the women’s circuit has dished out this season. The athlete boasts a total of 8 top-10 finishes this season from 16 LPGA Tour starts and has beaten the likes of Korda in this regard. Her best came from the 2024 ShopRite LPGA Classic Presented by Acer, where she finished in the runner-up position. The golfer would surely want to clinch her first win of the season at the upcoming Amundi Evian Championship.

4. Lilia Vu: The 26-year-old currently trails behind the 2024 Chevron Championship winner in the world rankings. But that doesn’t mean she hasn’t been at her best. The American has 3 top-10 finishes from 9 starts and even boasts a victory at the 2024 Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give and a T2 finish at the major that followed, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Moreover, Vu would also be looking to close the gap between herself and the current No. 1 on the Rolex Rankings, behind whom she trails behind with a huge gap of 157 points.

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USA Today via Reuters

5. Jin Young KoThe South Korean is just fresh off a runner-up finish at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Consequently, she would be looking to redeem herself in the upcoming major and increase her tally of 4 top-10 finishes this season. Any golfer underestimating her would be making an unwise decision since the former world No. 1 will be hoping to clinch her second Amundi Evian Championship title at the Evian Resort Golf Club.

A test for the players at the Evian Resort Golf Club

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Although the club boasts two beautiful courses to its name, the upcoming major will only take place in one of them. Interestingly, the Champions Course, which came into existence in 1904 came about as a 9-hole course which was subsequently redesigned by Cabell B. Robinson in the 1980s. This, in turn, led it to become a par-71, 18-hole layout.

The golfers, including the likes of Korda, Boutier, and Furue among others, will surely look to dish out their best at the Evian-les-Bains. They would surely hope to dish out their best at the challenging course, which even Karie Webb had something to comment about; “The changes to the finishing holes make for great theater to crown a champion and the hospitality is second to none in one of the most beautiful places in the world.” However, only time will let us know as to who will be crowned the winner at the Amundi Evian Championship!