For the first time in its history, The Evian Championship has organized qualifiers, offering two players the opportunity to be among the prestigious field at the 5th and final Major of the season, from 11 to 14 September 2014, alongside the leading women golf champions in the world. After two rounds played in stroke play, Ariane Provot (France) and Jing Yan (China, amateur) have obtained their golden ticket, along with Caroline Afonso who receives a wild card.
The brand new prelude to The Evian Championship, the Qualifiers event took place on 10 and 11 June on the course at the Evian Resort Golf Club. 27 players, including 3 of the top international amateurs (two French players and one Chinese), representing 13 nationalities, competed over two rounds in stroke play.
With the sun shining, French player Caroline Afonso was in the lead at the end of the 1st round thanks to carding 67 (4-under), including 5 birdies and a bogey. But following a stormy night, and once the course had been completely cleared of debris by the greenkeepers, it was the turn of another French player, Ariane Provot, also based in Biarritz, to set off to conquer the leaderboard, shooting three birdies on the first 3 holes. Adding another birdie to her scorecard on the 6th hole, and despite 2 bogeys on 14 and 18, the LET Rookie, aged 21, won the Qualifiers event for The Evian Championship, finishing on a total of 137 (5-under).
Behind her, Caroline Afonso, the previous day's leader, played a bogey on 18, forcing her to share 2nd place and enter a play-off with Chinese amateur Jing Yan. Par from the Chinese player on the 18th, compared with a bogey from the French player, gave Jing Yan her passport for The Evian Championship. Ariane Provot, with her father for caddy, was delighted, saying: "Being able to play The Evian Championship in my rookie year is just unbelievable! I came here thinking what everyone told me: "Go on, enjoy yourself. No one expects anything of you, you can surprise them!"
A wonderful surprise was also waiting for Caroline Afonso, who was awarded a wild card by the tournament board in recognition of her tied 2nd place.
Ariane Provot, Caroline Afonso and amateur Jing Yan return home with their qualification for The Evian Championship which will be played from 11 to 14 September 2014.
Ariane Provot (FRA) – Age 21
Turned pro in December 2013
LET Rookie in 2014, having played 3 tournaments this year, best performance at the Deloitte Ladies Open (20th)
Jing Yan (CHN – Am) – Age 17
Ranked 23rd, World Amateur Golf Ranking
A real celebrity in China where aged 14 she shined at the Asian games (in 2010)
In 2013, won two major amateur titles: the Girls' British Open and the Ladies' British Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship.
3 Top 25 finishes on the LET in 2014 (11th at the New Zealand Women's Open)
Caroline Afonso (FRA) – Age 29
Turned pro in December 2007
N°1 amateur in 2007
Played 17 LET tournaments in 2013, best performance: 6th at the Helsingborg Open
Best LET performance: 2nd at the Uniqa Ladies Golf Open in Austria