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Solving the Evian Puzzle

The new championship course as unveiled for this year’s Evian Championship, the LPGA’s fifth major, has its own answer to Augusta’s Amen Corner. The 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th holes have been labeled “The Evian Puzzle” and, no less than any other brain-teaser, they will call for a cool head. Inbee Park, the defending champion and one who is still in a position where she can bag four majors this summer, is a thoroughly cool customer, while the same applies to Stacy Lewis. Apart from finishing second in the Evian in 2011 and 2012, Lewis stopped Park from making it four majors in a row when she made off with the Women’s British Open. Spectators will “feel” the difference from last year to this. First, because the changes to the course will offer the chance to get closer to the action; second, because the atmosphere is always that bit more telling when there is a major in the balance. Long before they arrive at “The Evian Puzzle,” spectators, no less than players, will have waited with baited breath for the new fifth hole. Formerly a blind par 4, it is now a par 3 where the green sits amid a water hazard which, to some, will look the size of Lake Geneva. There are events where the professionals dread the news that a course has been made longer or tougher, but the Evian is not among them. True, the “major” status will have contestants on red alert from the start, but there are so many antidotes to the pressure in this blissful resort, with the players recently doing something of a Julie Andrews in listing “a few of my favourite things.”


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