March 8, 2018 / 1:35 AM / a year ago

Golf: LPGA's Evian moves to summer to avoid being watered down

FILE PHOTO - Suzann Pettersen of Norway tees off on the second hole during the third and final round of the women's Evian Championship golf tournament in Evian September 15, 2013. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

(Reuters) - The much-maligned Evian Championship in France will move to a July date from September starting in 2019 and become the world’s second richest women’s tournament, the LPGA said on Wednesday.

The women’s major became a laughing stock last year when rain and wind were so bad that tournament officials wiped out first-round scores and shortened the championship to 54 holes, a move that was widely panned as unworthy of a major.

Moving the tournament to July means it will be played in generally better summer weather, and it should enjoy an enhanced status after struggling to live up to its billing since it was designated a women’s major in 2013.

The 2019 event, with a purse of $4.1 million, will be played at the Evian Resort in Evian-les-Bains from July 25-28.

“Since its inception as a women’s golf event, Evian has pushed the boundaries for building a golf tournament that is simply like no other,” LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan said in a statement.

The 2018 Evian Championship will remain in its current timeslot of Sept 13-16.

Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Frank Pingue

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