LPGA adding fifth major

SPORTS NETWORK

, Last Updated: 2:24 PM ET

EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France -- The LPGA has added the Evian Masters as its fifth major championship, starting in 2013.

The tournament in France will join the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the LPGA Championship, the U.S. Women's Open and the Women's British Open as majors. The Evian, as it will be renamed, will be the final major of the season, to be played in 2013 during the second week of September.

"Evian has stepped up to make a huge statement for women's golf worldwide with The Evian," said LPGA commissioner Mike Whan on Wednesday. "The Evian will be a tournament, a location, and an atmosphere that young women will strive to be part of for the next few decades."

This year's Evian Masters will be played this week on a course that was first started with nine holes in 1904 and finished in 1922 with a second nine. The future championship, however, will be played on a completely redesigned Evian Golf Club. The final four holes, called the "Fantastic Finish," will play into, and around, a huge spectator amphitheater setting, providing a memorable closing stretch for competitors and fans alike. The redesign will be complete in spring 2013.

"The Evian Masters has always been an elite tournament in the world of women's golf because of the elite field, the spectacular location and the commitment of the global sponsors to the event and women's golf in general," said LPGA member Cristie Kerr, who was among a handful of players on hand for the announcement. "Players on the LPGA have always considered the Evian Masters on par with the best tour events in all of golf. As an LPGA major, The Evian will continue, as it has always done, to reach new heights year after year."

Its current purse of $3.25 million is the highest on the 2011 LPGA Tour, matched only by the U.S. Women's Open. The Evian Masters became part of the LPGA Tour schedule in 2000 following six years as a major championship on the Ladies European Tour.


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