Ko eager to impress at Evian Championship

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Ko eager to impress at Evian Championship

This group will tee off at 8:18 a.m. local time/2:18 a.m. ET in a star-studded grouping comprised of the top three players on the circuit, per the Rolex rankings.

Ryu, Thompson and Park are also all in the running to claim the Annika Major Award for the best performances in the majors this year. Ryu is now the top-ranked women's player in the world with Thompson, up to No. 2 in the latest Rolex World Golf Rankings with the win in Indy, a close - and motivated - pursuer. Since Park now has 60 points, just 18 points behind Ryu So-yeon, she may be able to win the award if she finishes runner-up at Evian. Michelle Wie and Inbee Park are out with injuries, and Stacy Lewis made up her mind ages ago that she'd be skipping this year's Evian Championship.

"Being world No. 1 is a lot of pressure", Ryu said.

That win, in addition to her victory at the Kingsmill Championship and her unforgettable back-nine during her singles match in the Solheim Cup last month in Iowa make Thompson the favorite to win this week in France at The Evian Championship, the final of the LPGA Tour's five majors.

Winning was the number one goal Sung Hyun Park set this season, and once she reached her target in July, she followed the same model that earned her more than half a dozen wins past year on the KLPGA: keep winning.

Even for an accomplished player like Thompson with plenty of great rounds on her resume, it was a special comeback. "I was probably pressuring myself", Park said about the 2016 U.S. Women's Open.

Ryu said she has felt escalating pressure from fans, who she knows only mean to encourage her, to cheer her toward the Rolex Player of the Year Award and other honors. "She says she's been working hard on it and the results are so impressive". "I just go out, tee it up, and try to do my best any time I play in a tournament, and wherever my ranking goes, it goes".

In 17 events this season, Thompson has made 16 cuts and has eight top-10 finishes. "Also they have a few green changes, and I think the changes make (the course) more reasonable and more exciting". She said she isn't expecting perfection. "I feel like the emotional stuff has definitely put a toll on me, but a lot better now knowing my mom is good and healthy, so that's been helping out a lot".

Thompson and Park arrived in France coming off victories in their last starts. The 27-year-old has won twice on the circuit this season and is more than justifying her place atop the rankings.

Thompson has put all the rules hullabaloo in the rearview mirror and pushed her seemingly limitless talent to the front, most recently on Saturday. Classic in June, the Marathon Classic in July and the Ricoh Women's British Open in August, rising to seventh in the world rankings and fifth on the L.P.G.A. money list.

"Aside from the U.S. Women's Open course, the Evian Championship course is the hardest", Park said after her victory in Bedminster.

She also finished eighth in 2014 and her only poor showing at the venue was her 43rd placing past year when her game was already starting to crumble as she prepared to jettison her coach David Leadbetter, caddie Jason Hamilton and club manufacturer, Callaway.

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