September 22, 2021

Boutier bags French Open title with final hole birdie

France’s Celine Boutier won the Lacoste Ladies Open de France after securing victory in the most dramatic of fashions at Golf Club du Medoc. 

The two-time Solheim Cup winner kept her nerve on a frantic final day in Bordeaux, before sinking a fantastic birdie putt on the last to take victory by a single shot ahead of Scotland’s Kylie Henry.

The two players were neck and neck for much of Saturday, with the lead exchanging hands throughout the day, before heading down the 18th tied on -10 apiece. But with Henry lying short with her second shot on the final hole, Boutier made it to the green in two, before rolling in a 20-foot putt with her third shot to send her local supporters home happy.

“I couldn’t have hoped for a better ending,” said Boutier , who picked up €45,000 for the win. “It was a special week all round. All five of my family were here supporting me, which is quite rare, and my brother was caddying for me, so I feel grateful and blessed to be able to share it with them. I was a bit frustrated when I dropped shots because they could have been avoided, but I kept patient because I knew I was putting well so I had to keep giving myself opportunities.”

Boutier’s day got off to a blistering start in Bordeaux, as she extended her one-shot overnight lead to two with a brace of birdies on holes two and three, while Henry also picked up a shot on the second to keep in touch. Both players birdied the seventh, before the Scot ended the front nine with another birdie to pull herself within one, before the Frenchwoman made back-to-back bogeys to see the pendulum sway the Glaswegian’s way. But the 27-year-old wasn’t to be denied a first LET title in three years, as she drew herself back level on the 14th, before sealing the deal in the perfect manner of the final hole of the tournament.

It was a special moment for Boutier, who made her first professional appearance at the tournament back in 2016 – before finishing second to Nelly Korda in 2019 –  and she was delighted to take the victory in front of her home crowd.  “I’m still in shock from the summer because it’s all been so surreal with the Solheim Cup victory and now this,” she continued.  “I came close to winning two years ago. so I’ve had the win here on my mind for a while, so I wanted to improve my performance this year, so I’m over the moon with this win.”

It wasn’t to be for Henry, who performed valiantly throughout the three days in Bordeaux – with just one bogey in her last 36 holes – but she was pleased with her performance in France nonetheless. “I’m really happy with how I played, I feel like I hit a lot of good shots on the back nine, but I just didn’t manage to make any birdies,” Henry said.  “Second place isn’t what you dream of, but I’m still really happy because it is a good result and I’m happy to be back in contention. I didn’t make any bogeys, so I’m really happy with that because it shows that it was really solid golf. I gave it my best, but that putt on the last from Celine was outstanding – and that’s why she’s a Solheim Cup player – she was brilliant.”

The top placed English player was Kent’s Close Frankish, with the Chart Hills player firing a final round 65 to finish in a share of sixth.

VIEW SOURCE: https://www.golfnews.co.uk/features/boutier-bags-french-open-title-with-final-hole-birdie/