Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Evian Masters, final day

The last round of the Evian Masters was amazing and the icing on the cake was Ai's seventh LPGA title.

Japanese sports world has brought some happiness and relieve to a country which was devastated several months ago by a tsunami and an earthquake. Ai is one of the most concern Japanese athletes, therefore she'll donate some or even all of her winner's check, which only shows how devoted she is to her country.

Back to golf, the tourney was a complete success and now I understand why players speak so highly of it. All of them displayed their A game and proof of it was the star studded leader board we had on Sunday: Miyazato, Pettersen, IK Kim, Lewis, to name a few.

Competition was fierce, but Ai showed that her mental side is one of the strongest on tour and held off Stacy Lewis in-style. Add her parents' company to the picture and you'll have one more reason to be unstoppable.

People showed how much they love her, while Japanese reporters burst into joy, which is pretty understandable since they have followed Miyazato closely from her rookie season on the LPGA, back in 2005.

Now, about all that surrounds the tourney, people is amazing, everybody is so welcoming and the whole town surrenders to the event. Volunteers, organizers, restauranteurs and hoteliers show their appreciation to everyone who visits Évian-les-Bains to get a glimpse of the world's best women golfers.

I'm sure that in 2013, when this tournament becomes a major, it'll be huge and will surely become one of the favorite and most memorable Grand Slams.

Finally, thank you all for reading the blog, as well as the adventures of this who writes!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Evian Masters 2011, days 4 and 5

Second round, done! It's gonna be quite a tough weekend, full of emotions and with pretty odd weather conditions, which will surely make the girls play they're best. Outside the ropes, the LPGA Global Media Awards...

On Friday I followed Matthew, Recari and Creamer. Matthew is one of those players that makes it two, three, four birdies in a row, when she's hot there's no way to stop her!

Reacari had a double bogey on the first hole, kind of a nightmare, she four putted; nonetheless, she fought till the end but couldn't make the cut.

Creamer can be pretty inconsistent at times, specially with the putter, but she's getting there people, it's just matter of time. Whe she finds the way to make it work, well, beware, seriously!

Now, the LPGA Global Media Awards were great. Paula Creamer, Azahara Muñoz and Juli Inkster were there. Actually, Inkster was given the Media Appreciation Award for being such a trooper with media and making our work a lot easier!

In the Player Profile category, Bill Fields won the award with "The young and the restless" published on Golf World. In Column/Blog, Golfweek's senior writer, Beth Ann Baldry won with "Dollars and Degrees".

It was an awesome night, all of the hot shots were there, both from the Evian Masters and the LPGA. Here's a complete list of winners.

The third round was awesome too, lots of emotions and a pretty crowded field. The back nine will define the winner; it's possible to birdie the last four holes, but you must have a super approach shot or you'll leave with a bogey!

I followed Cristie Kerr and Paula Creamer and I have 2 conclusions: 

1. Cristie is amazing with the putter, if there's anyone out here who knows how to play on the green, that's her.
2. Paula might be in trouble around the green but a good chip and run may take her to red numbers, she's pretty good with the short game.

I might brag more about it and give you my thoughts, but there's a lot of places you'll fin that, like this one, so let me tell you something else...

The Evian Masters people took me to the gala dinner, it was amazing, with players, sponsors, LPGA and LET people, and a pretty small press group.

The menu was awesome: entree buffet, lamb for the main course and another buffet, this time: desserts. Great ambiance, lots of laughs and to seal the deal: fireworks.

I have no doubt that in 2013, when this event becomes a major, they'll spare no expense, although, I'm not sure how that could be possible, because it's already superb!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Evian Masters 2011, days 2 and 3

The first round of the Evian Masters finally came and the first thing that comes to my mind is: This weather is odd!, but let's not get ahead of ourselves...

As you know, the ProAm was played yesterday, and there was a lot of people around, compared to the previous days. Anyways, the real deal came with Commissioner Michael Whan's announcement, who let everyone know this tourney will become a major starting September 2013: The Evian Championship.

The presser took about an hour, there were laughs and memories all over, but little surprise, since  Golfweek blew the whistle 10 days ago. So the only "new stuff" came when Whan said the course would be remodeled, and 5 holes (5, 15, 16, 17 and 18) will be brand new, which many expected since today's course wouldn't be enough challenging for a Grand Slam.

Today the weather was crazy: rain in early in the morning, sun around noon, then some more rain between 14:00 and 14:20, and the, sun, again!

Obviously this complicates moving around, and walking is kind of a challenge, mud has already taken some victims (haven't been one, of course!), it's so slippery around here.

Anyways, I followed Paula Creamer, Catriona Matthew and Beatriz Recari. The 'Pink Panther' had quite a good start, but then she faltered with the putter; Matthew played solid from 11 ti 15,with precise approach shots (Euro Solheim captain was around), and Recari couldn't get going, I think she lack a lot of patience. 

Beyond the weather and the game, the ambiance in this place is unique, everybody treats you amazing and volunteers are always willing to help you, pretty cool.

It seems like tomorrow is gonna be raining more than today, but Saturday will be nasty, according to  Weather Channel. I'll keep you posted.