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Evian Masters preview: One last sip [waiting on the new flavored water]

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By Vince Robitaille

GolfWRX Staff Writer

As yet another Olympic chapter commences, one ends this week in Evian-les-Bains. In its last edition as a non-major event, the Evian Masters will give impressions of trials and preparations; players, however, will treat it entirely otherwise.

When LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan announced, 53 weeks ago, that the Evian Masters would officially become what it had unofficial been for quite some time, namely a major tournament, many saw what resembled the grand opening of the proverbial floodgates and voiced their opinions accordingly. The prospect of further additions to the major circuit diluting the importance of the whole – a case could be made that with a supplementary fifth crown, a second on the Old Continent, a sixth seems all the more like, especially given Asia’s golfing prominence and the fact that it’s still left major-less. The option of a World Golf Championships-type series, most likely sponsored by HSBC – their omnipresence in the Australasian leg of the LPGA schedule prompting such an assumption – could provide a palliative alternative to the issue, but a need for much larger eligible pools of players seems to arise with such a choice; perhaps new administrative regulations from the KLPGA could deliver such an influx. Such pondering would be better suited once the 2013 Evian Masters rolls in, 14 months from now.

The clear favorite heading into the week is two-time and defending champion Ai Miyazato. The Japanese star is arguably back to her old form that permitted her climb to the top of the LPGA’s food chain back in 2010. A mildly disappointing 2011 campaign was overshadowed by the likes of Na Yeon Choi and Yani Tseng’s utter dominance, and has made the Evian Masters Golf Club her home away from home. The question, nonetheless, will be to see how the current World No.4 will adjust to her newly renovated home. The course being lengthened significantly in preparation for next year, as well as to what could be one of the quirkiest groups Yours Truly has witnessed – Miyazato sharing tee times with English legendary swashbuckler Laura Davies and hot-blooded Swede Helen Alfredsson.

While Miazato will be eyeing her third triumph nearby the ever-famous spring, dismissing two Ladies European Tour players in their mid-twenties, more precisely Melissa Reid and Caroline Masson, would be rather foolish. Reid’s recent familial horror story and subsequent victorious return to action stand for an accurate barometer of her mental toughness and talent; an illustrious second half of the season could be looming ahead, despite its tearful start. As for the young German, with the monkey off her proverbial back – the former Oklahoma State University student lifting her first professional trophy at the South African Women’s Open earlier this year – and steady play that has her sitting atop the 2012 Order of Merit, the table seems set for a breakout party.

Click here for more discussion in the “LPGA/Ladies golf talk” forum.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Joe7gd4

    Jul 29, 2012 at 8:36 am

    like Anna replied I am surprised that a mother able to make $4314 in one month on the computer. have you read this link (Click on menu Home more information)
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  2. Troy Vayanos

    Jul 28, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    With the large contingent of Asian players on ladies tour it is a must to have a major in that part of the world.

    Looking at the current leaderboard on the Evian Masters and nearly 50% of the players in the top 20 are from South Korea.

    Time will tell how they go about setting up the tours big events.

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Equipment

Spotted: Phil Mickelson testing Callaway’s mini driver

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There is some serious equipment testing going on at Pinehurst’s legendary No. 2 course before the 2024 U.S. Open starts! We spotted renowned club tinkerer Phil Mickelson on the range with a new setup. He was testing out the new Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Ti 340 Mini Driver with a new Mitsubishi Diamana BB (Blue Board) shaft.

Phil has long been a mini driver/2-wood/strong 3-wood guy, as he was the inspiration for the Callaway “Phranken Wood” about 10 years ago. For many pros, adding a strong 3-wood or mini driver allows them to turn it over easier and add a more consistent draw to their bag off the tee without losing too much distance.

Mitsubishi’s Diamana BB is the newest mid-launch shaft in the Diamana line. The “BB” on the shaft of course references the iconic Blue Board shafts from 20 years ago and this model will have a similar smooth feel.

 

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Tour Photo Galleries

Photos from the 2024 U.S. Open

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GolfWRX is live this week from the third major of the season: the U.S. Open at historic Pinehurst No. 2.

Qualifier WITBs are the stars the the show so far — along with in-hand looks at what Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau are playing.

Check back throughout the week as we continue to add more galleries.  

General Albums

WITB Albums

Pullout Albums

See what GolfWRXers are saying about the photos from the U.S. Open in the forums. 

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Equipment

Why Wyndham Clark is playing a brand-new driver and an old putter this week

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Editor’s note: This is an excerpt of an article originally filed for PGATour.com’s Equipment Report by our Andrew Tursky. Read the full piece here. 

At the top end of the bag, Clark is set to change into Titleist’s new GT2 driver during the first week it’s being made available to PGA TOUR players. On Monday, Titleist officially unveiled its new lineup of GT drivers and fairway woods, and Clark plans to become one of the early adopters of the new technology as competition begins on Thursday at Muirfield Village Golf Club.

Interestingly, Clark was relatively late to make a permanent switch into the company’s previous TSR3 driver. Although the TSR drivers first launched in 2022, Clark was back-and-forth with the 2020 TSi3 driver and the 2022 TSR3 driver until the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in 2024.

On Wednesday, GolfWRX.com caught up with Clark to get his take on the new GT2 driver, and why he’s switching so quickly.

“It’s faster (than my previous TSR3),” Clark said. “I felt like I got 2-3 mph more ball speed, which is amazing. And it has really consistent spin, which is obviously huge for what we do out here.”

…On the bottom end of the bag, Clark will likely play his first event since 2023 without an Odyssey Jailbird putter in the bag.

In case you forgot, Clark and Rickie Fowler were the trendsetters who brought the 2014 Odyssey Versa Jailbird back to the forefront of the golf market in 2023. Clark then switched into the upgraded Odyssey Ai Jailbird during the week of his win at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

This week, however, Clark is going back in time, switching into a PXG prototype mallet that he used in 2022.

Read the full piece at PGATour.com

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