TUnder the new name, the Amundi Evian Championship kicked off on Thursday, July 22, at the Evian Resort course. Launched in 1994, the event, which is held on the shores of Lake Geneva in France, has been one of the five Major tournaments on the women’s golf circuit since 2013 and has established itself as the only Major organized in Europe. Backed by Rolex since the 2000s and, more recently, by the asset manager Amundi, the championship wants to play a fundamental role in the calendar of a season that promises to be decisive for women’s golf, in particular with the Tokyo Olympics. , AIG Women’s British Open and the Solheim Cup.
“This year is symbolically the beginning of a new cycle in the life of the tournament! Like Amundi, Rolex and Évian, the strengthening of the Sponsors Club allows us to continue carrying out what we believe to be our mission as a Major: to always provide more means for players to practice their sport in the best conditions, help develop young talent and participate in the global influence of women’s golf,” explains Franck Riboud, President of The Amundi Evian Championship.
To confirm its position as a Major at the top of the world hierarchy, the organizers are betting on a revaluation of the endowment. An increase of 400,000 dollars that raises the “cash prize” to 4.5 million dollars (almost 3.8 million euros). Endowment that makes it the 2Y largest women’s tournament in the world, tied with the British Open, just behind the $5.5 million US Open. That said, although on the rise, these amounts are still well below those practiced in the men’s championships where the total prize money per tournament ranges between 3 and 46 million dollars. The least endowed is the Puerto Rico Open and the most generous, the Tour Championship.
A Datejust for the winner
Beyond financial considerations, one piece of attention holds a special place in the eyes of champions: the watch given to the winner. For over forty years, Rolex has been a partner of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) as the Official Watch of all Majors. This year is no exception to the rule, it is an Oyster Perpetual Datejust 31 in Oystersteel and Everose gold, equipped with a pink dial and an Oyster bracelet, which will be presented to the champion to crown her victory.
As Annika Sörenstam herself admits -89 victories in international tournaments, 10 Major titles to her credit and the first woman to enter the men’s circuit- the house is closely linked to the career of the players: “In 1994, I was Rolex Rookie of the Year on the LPGA, and I remember it like it was yesterday. That year I realized that my decision to turn pro was the right one. I was finally on the biggest green of the biggest women’s golf event in the world! But no It wasn’t until 1995 that I really achieved great things by winning tournaments and becoming the Rolex Player of the Year. […] That’s when I also set my sights on a Datejust. I had only seen one in the magazines, my parents didn’t have one and therefore it took on a very special character in my eyes. I still have it in my possession. On the back of my watch, it had “20 years with Rolex” engraved on it. That sums up my entire career, which started with the Rookie of the Year title. Then I was Player of the Year, and there were my wins and my Hall of Fame nomination. I bought a second Datejust exactly twenty years after the first. If my watch had a passport, many visas would appear on it! Rolex could not have hoped for a better testimonial.