Celine Boutier completes dream week with win at Evian Championship
Celine Boutier has always had her on on the Evian Championship. As the lone major hosted in her home country of France, the Evian always held a special place in her heart. Of all the tournaments on the LPGA Tour circuit, she wanted the Evian the most.
On Sunday on the shores of Lake Geneva, Boutier made that dream a reality.
The 29-year-old was in rare form throughout the week at Evian Resort. She posted four rounds in the 60s — the only player to do so — and capped it off with a Sunday 68 to cement her six-stroke victory.
“It’s been such a goal, more like a dream for so long,” Boutier said. “Just to be able to pull it off this week has been definitely unexpected. [I’m] just over the moon.”
Here’s what you need to know about Boutier’s dream week in France.
How it happened
Boutier entered the week in solid form. At last week’s Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, she and parter Yuka Saso finished tied for third after a Sunday 62 — and she carried that momentum across the pond.
Boutier got out of the gates fast with a first-round 66 and continued her stellar play with a 69 on Friday. After a 67 on moving day, Boutier held a three-stroke lead heading into the final round.
“The fact that I’ve been able to keep my game solid for the past three days is very positive,” Boutier said. “Just going to try to focus on that tomorrow.”
She delivered on that goal and then some. What started as a three-shot lead slowly swelled and by day’s end sat at six shots, tying the largest margin of victory since the event became a major. Boutier’s final-round 68 featured four birdies and just one bogey as she ran away from the field for her first major title.
What it means
Boutier had put together a solid career to this point, but with the win she is making a case as the best French golfer of all time. The 29-year-old made history earlier this year as she became the winningest Frenchwoman in the history of the LPGA with her third win. And now with the victory in France, she becomes the first French native to win a major in her home country.
With her win, Boutier becomes the fourth player to win multiple times on the LPGA this season, joining Jin Young Ko, Rouning Yin and Lilia Vu. Boutier is also the LPGA’s fifth consecutive first-time major winner, dating back to Ashleigh Buhai’s Women’s British Open victory last summer.
“It’s everything. Like I said, it’s definitely like the biggest dream of mine. If I was going to win one tournament it had to be Evian. Yeah, I just really did not expect it to be this week. But I just feel like so grateful to be able to share it with my family and with all the French spectators. They were amazing all week. Such a great amount of support and positive energy and definitely fed off the crowd a little bit. Yeah, I just feel super grateful to be able to share it with the French golf community.” —Celine Boutier
Brooke Henderson made a run at the title, but was unable to become the event’s first back-to-back winner since Laura Davies in 1996 and 1997. She used a front-nine 29 during the third round to jumpstart her charge as she tied the lowest nine-hole score in any women’s major championship. However, her weekend scores of 67 and 70 still left her six shots back of Boutier. Henderson’s runner up is the best finish by any defending champion since the event became a major championship in 2013.
Down the leaderboard
1. Celine Boutier (-14)
2. Brooke Henderson (-8)
T3. Celine Borge (-7)
T3. Gaby Lopez (-7)
T3. A Lim Kim (-7)
T3. Yuka Saso (-7)
T3. Nasa Hataoka (-7)
8. Gemma Dryburgh (-6)
T9. Atthaya Thitikul (-5)
T9. Megan Khan (-5)
T9. Su Ji Kim (-5)
T9. Rose Zhang (-5)
T9. Nelly Korda (-5)
T14. Jennifer Kupcho (-4)
T16. Minjee Lee (-3)
T20. Jin Young Ko (-2)
T36. In Gee Chun (E)
T42. Lilia Vu
T48. Patty Tavatanakit (+2)
T54. Allisen Corpuz (+4)
T61. Lydia Ko (+6)