With the wild card selection of Aussie amateur Minjee Lee, French amateur Céline Boutier, and French pro Joanna Klatten the field for the 20th edition of the Evian Championship has been finalized. The trio completes the elite field of 120 players who will compete in the season’s final Major on both the LPGA and Ladies European Tours. The Evian Championship will be played amidst Laura Davies’ much-touted caddie-player football/soccer match and much accompanying French joie de vivre at Evian-les-Bains, France, September 11-14.
Lee, the No. 1 ranking World amateur, Boutier, the top-ranked French amateur and top collegiate golfer in the United States, and Klatten, one of the top European pros playing on the American circuit, join earlier wild card pick Caroline Afonso to complete the Evian Championship field.
Afonso gained her coveted ticket to the Evian by her strong performance in the Qualifications round in June.
Eighteen-year old Minjee Lee is a closely-watched rising star in women’s golf. The top-ranked amateur, winner of the US Girls Junior in 2012 and the Australian Women’s Amateur titles in 2013 and 2014, claimed her first pro victory at the ALPG Tour Oates Victorian Open last February.
Lee is more than ready to step up to the tee box at the Evian Championship. She’s spent the last six months competing as an amateur against the best players in the pro field, finishing T24th at the Kraft Nabisco Championship in April and T22nd at the US Women’s Open in June.
Lee joined Karrie Webb, Katherine Kirk & Lindsey Wright as the youngest member of the Australian team at the International Crown in July and played an impressive game of golf alongside her mentor, Hall of Famer Webb.
French amateur Céline Boutier brings an equally impressive resume to the Evian. The 20-year old compiled an impressive trifecta playing for Duke University with three university wins between March and April 2014. Boutier helped the Blue Devils team win the NCAA Championship and was voted the best college player on the 2013-14 season.
Boutier won the 2012 European Ladies Amateur with a 16-under-par in Slovenia and finished second in qualifying at the Ladies British Open Amateur with rounds of 70, 71, before falling in the second round of match play. She advanced to third round of match play at the U.S. Women’s Amateur before falling 1-up to eventual champion Lydia Ko. The Evian Championship will mark Boutier’s debut on the pro golf stage where she will, again, face Ko in competition.
French pro and LPGA Tour rookie Joanna Klatten played her collegiate golf at Georgia State and College of Charleston. and then played on the LET after she turned pro in 2011. In 2012 she won the ALPG Women’s Victorian Open and posted three top-10 LET finishes. Generally regarded as one of Europe’s most promising players on the American circuit, Klatten is currently 99th on the LPGA Money List.
The American players are riding into the Evian Championship on a euphoric high. They’ve claimed three of the four Major 2014 championships and US fans are hoping for an American win at the Evian as well. But with Suzann Pettersen coming into the Evian as defending champion, with Lydia Ko on the hunt for her first Major victory, and with Inbee Park playing the game that won the Wegman’s LPGA Championship in August, the Evian isn’t going to be an American take-away.
Annette Walker and I will be highlighting the Evian field over the coming week. If you follow us on Twitter @bethbethel and @tinkwalker we’ll notify you when we publish Evian Championships commentary and updates.