EVIAN: Chun In-Gee has a hard task to better last year’s record-breaking performance in capturing the Evian Championship, the fifth and final major of the women’s golf season.
The South Korean set a major record – for men or women – with a 21 under par winning total on her way to a two shot victory 12 months ago.
“It was a real honour for me to get the record,” she said on the eve of her title defence on Wednesday.
“I knew what I needed to do in the last round so there was a lot of pressure. But the win, and the score, really helped my confidence.”
Lydia Ko was the 2015 champion – her first major title – at a time when she was riding high at the head of the world rankings.
“I have so many happy memories,” said the New Zealander of her triumph.
“I always get good vibes when I come to Evian. The course is in the best shape ever and I always get a lot of support here.”
Ko, now 20, has dropped from No.1 to No.8 in the world rankings this season, but she finished runner-up in an event in Indianapolis last weekend and is one of the favourites to don the crown on Sunday.
“I think I have become a little frustrated this year, but it was good to see some putts going in last week, I have to be patient. My golf is still a work in progress,” she reflected.
Karine Icher, from Chateauroux, is the leading French player, and hopes to become the first home winner.
She played well for Europe at the recent Solheim Cup and is one of the most experienced players on Tour.
Icher is mum to a six-year-old daughter (Lola), and she admits travelling on tour as a parent is not easy.
“It is a challenge,” admitted the 38-year-old, whose husband, Fred, is her caddie. “You have to be very organised.
“But we travel with two nannies and she now goes to school, either at home or on Tour in America. It’s a big adventure for us all, a real family affair.”
“I hope to play well this week and get the little bit of luck that every winner needs,” she added.
“This is the only time I get to play in France each year, and it is always fun to compete at home.”