Players to Watch: 2024 Amundi Evian Championship | LPGA

Players to Watch: 2024 Amundi Evian Championship | LPGA

EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France — If the first three majors of the 2024 LPGA Tour season are any indication, the 30th edition of the Amundi Evian Championship is sure to deliver some shock and drama this week at Evian Resort Golf Club. The field of 132 players is loaded with some of the world’s most talented athletes, and everyone competing this week will be eyeing their share of the $8 million prize fund and the ever-critical 650 points in the Race to the CME Globe.

Here are a few players to keep an eye on in the Amundi Evian Championship this week:

NASA Hataoka

Nasa Hataoka of Japan hasn’t won on the LPGA Tour since the 2022 DIO Implant LA Open, but it’s not for lack of trying. The six-time Tour winner has 16 top-10 finishes since her victory at Wilshire Country Club, including one at Evian Resort Golf Club last year when Hataoka tied for third after posting a four-round 7-under total. It was the third time the 25-year-old Hataoka has finished T16 or better at the Amundi Evian Championship; Hataoka tied for 16th in her 2018 tournament debut and then tied for 15th in 2022 after missing the cut at the 2019 major.

While his 2024 top-10 tally is a bit lower than what Hataoka’s fans are used to seeing, he did manage to crack the top-15 four more times this year, all of which came in four consecutive tournament appearances at The Chevron Championship (T13), the JM Eagle LA Championship presented by Plastpro (T13), the Cognizant Founders Cup (T12), and the Mizuho Americas Open (T14).

That consistency has shown up in Hataoka’s statistics this year. She’s gaining strokes in every category except stroke gain on the course, according to KPMG Performance Insights, specifically ranking 13th in stroke gain from tee to green (+1.17) and 14th in stroke gain on approach (+0.82). She also ranks third on the LPGA Tour in rounds under par this year and has 27 rounds of par or better in 15 tournaments she’s played in 2024.

Charley Body

Charley Hull hasn’t finished worse than T23 in a major since missing the cut at last year’s Amundi Evian Championship, and while he may not be playing the weekend in 2023, that doesn’t mean Hull won’t be able to compete at Evian Resort Golf Club. In the 2022 edition of the major, Hull recorded a 72-hole total of 15-under, with four rounds in the 60s, and ultimately tied for third in his ninth Amundi Evian Championship appearance. He also has two other top-25 finishes in the event, tying for 22nd in 2018 and 25th in 2021.

Hull has been solid on the LPGA Tour this season, posting six top-20 finishes, including two in major championships. She started the season with a seventh-place finish at the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions and then tied for 10th at the FIR HILLS SERI PAK Championship. The 28-year-old tied for 13th at the JM Eagle LA Championship Presented by Plastpro and has two more top-20 finishes in the last two majors, tying for 19th at the US Women’s Open Presented by Ally and then tying for 16th at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in Sammamish, Washington a few weeks ago.

According to KPMG Performance Insights, Hull, a six-time Solheim Cup winner, ranks third on Tour in strokes gained driving (+0.75), seventh in strokes gained from tee to green (+1.30) and 17th in total strokes gained (+1.19). Hull also ranks ninth on Tour in green time in regular time, finding the dance floor 71.72 percent of the time with his approach shots.

Atthaya Thitikul

Atthaya Thitikul came into the Amundi Evian Championship with plenty of confidence after winning her third career LPGA Tour title with playing partner Ruoning Yin at the Dow Championship. The Thai player joined forces with the Chinese major champion to form Team Jin & Ronic and won by one stroke over Ally Ewing and Jennifer Kupcho with a four-day total of 22-under at Midland Country Club.

The victory was Thitikul’s first on the LPGA Tour; she won her second title as a rookie after beating Danielle Kang in a playoff at the 2022 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship present by P&G. Along with that victory, Thitikul has five top-15s in just eight starts this season, two of which came in major championships; the 21-year-old tied for 12th at the Chevron Championship in her first tournament back since recovering from a thumb injury, and then tied for sixth at the US Women’s Open present by Ally last month.

Amundi has played in the Evian Championship four more times, and since finishing T64 in his tournament debut in 2017, Thitikul has never finished outside the top 10 at Evian Resort Golf Club. He finished solo fifth in 2021 after posting a four-day total of 14-under, and followed that performance up with a T8 finish in 2022, before finally tying for ninth in 2023.

Statistically, Thitikul is gaining strokes in every major strokes gained category on the LPGA Tour this season, most notably ranking third in total strokes gained (+1.84) and 12th in strokes gained from tee to green (+1.20), according to KPMG Performance Insights. She is also fourth in strokes gained on the green in normal strokes (72.67%) and sixth in scoring average (70.64).

Morgane Metraux

While Morgane Metraux has yet to win on the LPGA Tour, the 27-year-old does have two wins on the Ladies European Tour, including one at the Jabra Ladies Open earlier this season. The Jabra Ladies Open has been held at the Evian Resort Golf Club in Evian-les-Bains, France, since its inception in 2017. The venue also hosts this week’s Amundi Evian Championship. Metraux finished the week at the Evian Resort Golf Club three-day total of 10-under, trailing Agathe Sauzon and Chiara Tamburlini by three strokes. Her victory was a hit with the French locals, considering she hails from Lausanne, Switzerland, which is just a ferry ride across Lac Leman from Evian-les-Bains.

Metraux has made 11 starts on the LPGA Tour this year, and after missing the cut in the first six events of the 2024 season, the Epson Tour alum has righted the ship, making four cuts in her last five starts and posting a season-best finish with a solo fifth-place finish at the ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer, the second-best finish of her career on the LPGA Tour. This week marks her fourth start at the Amundi Evian Championship, and in her three previous appearances, Metraux has achieved her tournament-best finish in the 2023 edition of the event.