EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France | French fans turned out in droves to support their countrywoman Celine Boutier as the Montrouge native captured her fourth career LPGA Tour title and first major victory on Sunday at The Amundi Evian Championship. Boutier began the day with a three-shot lead over Nasa Hataoka and quickly extended it to four with birdies on the par-4 1st and par-3 2nd holes. The 29-year-old made back-to-back pars on holes three and four and grabbed another birdie on No. 5 to move to 14-under and sit five ahead of Hataoka. The Japan native dropped a shot on the par-4 6th hole to give Boutier a six-shot advantage, but a birdie from defending champion Brooke Henderson to get to 9-under overall tightened the Frenchwoman’s lead to five with nine holes to play.
Boutier, Hataoka and Henderson each parred the 10th hole, and Hataoka got back to 9-under with a birdie on No. 11, once again five back of Boutier. Henderson dropped to 8-under after making a bogey on No. 12, and Boutier followed suit with a bogey of her own on the par-4, 13th hole, now 13-under and four ahead. A Hataoka bogey on 14 put Boutier back to five up with four holes to play, but a birdie from Henderson on 15 again closed the gap by a shot. Boutier slammed the door shut with a birdie on the par-5 15th hole, and when Henderson bogeyed 17, all the 29-year-old needed was three pars to win The Amundi Evian Championship by an incredible six shots.
“It honestly has been my biggest dream ever since I started watching golf,” said Boutier, who fired a final-round, 3-under 68 en route to victory. “This tournament has always been very special to me, just even watching as a teenager. To be able to hold this trophy is pretty unbelievable.
“(Having my family here) made it even better. I feel like they helped me this week to stay grounded and keep my mind off of golf off the golf course. It’s really sweet to be able to share it with them, and I definitely wouldn’t be here without them.”
Boutier is the fourth first-time major winner this season, alongside Lilia Vu, Ruoning Yin and Allisen Corpuz, and she is the first Frenchwoman ever to win The Amundi Evian Championship. She’s also the third LPGA Tour player from France to win a major championship, joining Patricia Meunier-Lebouc, who won the 2003 Chevron Championship, and Catherine LaCoste, who won the 1967 U.S. Women’s Open as an amateur. Boutier becomes the fourth two-time winner this season, joining Jin Young Ko, Vu and Yin, and will continue to ride this form to the fifth and final major of the year at the AIG Women’s Open in two weeks and the Solheim Cup at Finca Cortesin in September.
“I feel like golf you can always play better. I feel like I was very steady all four rounds, which is very positive. Especially with tougher conditions, I’m definitely very satisfied with my level and with my game this week,” said Boutier. “It was not easy, but the conditions were so tough I felt like it could go either way really fast, so I just tried to stay focused on each shot and hole at a time. It was pretty challenging with the wind.
“I think nothing else matters now that I have this trophy, so I’m really good for the rest of the year.”