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Evian Masters prize fund increased to £1.4m

The Evian Masters announced today that prize money for the 2001 Evian Masters will be increased to 1.4 million (US$2.1 million) in an effort to position the event as the 'Augusta Masters' of the Evian Ladies European Tour and the LPGA Tour.

It represents an increase of approximately 400,000 (US$300,000) on this year's tournament, which was won by Annika Sorenstam, and cements its status as the richest event in women's golf behind the US Women's Open.

Already considered by many of the leading players as a 'special event' because of it 'Masters' format, generous prize money and unique setting on the banks of Lake Geneva, the 2001 Evian Masters will feature as a flagship championship for players from both Tours.

"Our goal is to have the Evian Masters attain the same status and prestige for the women that the Augusta Masters has for the men," said Franck Riboud, Chairman of the Evian Masters.

"To achieve that goal we believe it is important to maintain the quality of the tournament, offer one of the richest purses in women's golf and raise the hospitality shown to the players to even higher standards.

" Following its inauguration in 1994, the Evian Masters has fast developed into one of the premier events in Europe and one that players from both sides of the Atlantic aspire to compete in.

"The increased prize money for next season will further enhance the Evian Masters' unique standing for women professionals from both the Evian and LPGA Tours," said Tim Howland, Chief Executive, Evian Tour.

"The Evian Masters already enjoys many similarities with the Masters at Augusta, and with the increase in prize money the Evian Masters easily satisfies all the criteria needed for Major status."

Having started off solely as a European Tour event, the Evian Masters became joint-sanctioned with the LPGA in 2000 in order to attract the very best players from across the world.

"We are very grateful for this significant purse increase to the Evian Masters," said Ty Votaw, Commissioner of the LPGA Tour. "The Evian Masters made a dramatic debut on the LPGA Tour's schedule in 2000 and this purse increase will only add to its prestige on the world golfing stage."

Howland also confirmed that in addition to the increased prize money, the Evian Masters Golf Club had expressed an interest in hosting The Solheim Cup in 2008.

"The Solheim Cup is the premier tournament in women's golf and the Evian Masters Golf Club has contacted me with regards to staging the event in 2008," added Howland.

"The (Evian Masters Golf) Club has many years experience in staging a major tournament and has all the facilities to make a superb host venue for 2008." The 2001 Evian Masters will take place at the Royal Evian Golf Club, Haute-Savoie, France from June 13-16, 2001.

 

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