By Lisa D. Mickey

New York Times News Service

The Evian Championship will bring the LPGA to the Evian Resort Golf Club in Evian-les-Bains, France, this week for the tour’s final major of 2018.

Anna Nordqvist of Sweden returns with the hope of defending her 2017 title, while the 2015 champion, Lydia Ko of New Zealand, returns for another chance at winning the championship.

The world’s top-ranked player, Sung Hyun Park, and the third-ranked, So Yeon Ryu, both of South Korea, hope to improve on their 2016 co-runner-up finish. Each player is seeking a third major victory.

And with Karine Icher, the top-ranked French player, on maternity leave, French golf fans will hope for a homegrown champion, such as LPGA tour members Céline Boutier, Joanna Klatten and Céline Herbin, as well as Ladies European Tour member Astrid Vayson de Pradenne, who won the Jabra Ladies Open this summer at the Evian golf club.

The Evian Championship is now in its sixth year as the LPGA’s fifth major championship. Here are some other players to watch this week:

Shanshan Feng

Shanshan has posted a top-10 finish in five of the last six Evian Championships, indicating that the course suits her game.

Finishing tied for sixth last year, the gregarious player from Shanghai, with a penchant for bovine-pattern golf attire, would like to collect her second major at Evian and her 10th career victory.

She is ranked No. 7 in the world and has five top-10 finishes this season, including three ties for third.

Georgia Hall

A rookie this season, Hall, from England, heads to Evian as the top-ranked European player at No. 8 in the world. She has the tour’s hot hand, with a win at the Women’s British Open and a runner-up finish at the LPGA’s Cambia Portland Classic in her last three events.

With three top-10s this season, she returns to a course where she tied for 10th last year.

A second major championship win this season would catapult Hall closer to the tour’s top rookie honors.

Brooke Henderson

The fourth-year player from Canada has emerged as one of North America’s leading contenders on the LPGA tour and is still riding the high of winning her homeland’s CP Women’s Open in late August.

Henderson hopes to add a second major championship and eighth career LPGA victory at Evian.

She has nine top-10s and two wins in 2018. Ranked No. 9 in the world, she enters the final major hoping to improve on her tie for ninth at the 2016 Evian Championship.

Ariya Jutanugarn

While it was her big sister Moriya who posted the sibling-best finish last year at the Evian with a tie for third, Ariya tied for ninth at the 2016 tournament and has amassed a formidable record this season with 13 top-10 finishes and three wins, including a victory at the 2018 U.S. Women’s Open.

The big-hitting player from Thailand has finished in the top seven in three of her last four events and hopes to add to her third-year career record of 10 wins with two majors and 50 top-10s. She is ranked No. 2 in the world.

Lexi Thompson

Looking for her first win in 2018, this Florida native enters the tournament as the top-ranked American in the field at No. 5. She has nine career victories and one major championship and hopes to extend her five-year streak of winning at least one LPGA tournament each year.

She has posted six top-10 finishes this year, including a tie for fifth at the 2018 U.S. Women’s Open and a top-10 finish in early September at the Cambia Portland Classic.

She has two top-three finishes at Evian, including a second place in the 2015 championship.

Inbee Park

While Park has posted mixed results in major championships this season with two top-10s and two missed cuts, expect this LPGA Hall of Fame player to be competitive at Evian, where she won in 2012 before the event became a major.

A native of South Korea, Park brings a season record of five top-10s and one win in 12 events to France with a world ranking of No. 4.

A win at Evian would give her a new distinction as a super career Grand Slam winner in which she has won every major available in her career.

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