Alison Lee was red hot in the desert — Celine Boutier wins…again — Must-click women’s golf links
The IX: Golf Thursday with Addie Parker, Nov. 2, 2023
Happy Golf Thursday! I’ll leave you with these tweets (I refuse to call Twitter X) as an introduction to today’s topic.
Is your mind blown? Because mine certainly is. As if we need more reminders of just how unbelievable the level of talent is across the tours — this is just the cherry on top of an extremely elite cake.
Lee played collegiate golf at UCLA and turned pro in 2015. She was inside the top 25 on the money list for her rookie season, but she’s struggled over the course of her career, still seeking her maiden victory on the LPGA. She came close just a week before the Aramco event but lost in a playoff to Minjee Lee. This dominating performance, firing back-to-back 61s in the first two rounds, led her to her second LET title — something she was even surprised by.
“If you told me at the beginning of the week I was going to shoot 22-under after two days I wouldn’t have believed you!” Lee told the Ladies European Tour. “So I’m really happy with where I am right now. I made a lot of really good putts.”
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It’s rare that we see such a dominating performance, especially in women’s golf. For instance, in Malaysia, Celine Boutier and Atthaya Thitikul went head-to-head in an epic nine-hole playoff before Boutier sealed the deal. Players have the smallest of margins separating them in rankings and stats, so when we do get to witness a player who doesn’t seem like they can miss it’s enticing — you can’t look away, you’re in awe. It’s like watching a video game, and it’s a sight to behold.
I don’t think the gravity of what she did has quite sunk into the golf sphere yet. For the sake of comparison, in the last LIV event which is also a 54-hole team event like the Aramco Series, the individual winner shot 8-under, which is nothing to sneeze at either. In fact, the lowest scoring total this season for LIV came from Bryson DeChambeau at 23-under back in August. Compared to what Lee did in Saudi Arabia, DeChambeau still would’ve lost…by six strokes.
Perhaps it’s because it’s an LET event or maybe the fact that it took place in Saudi Arabia (the Aramco series is still controversial, yet star players are still competing in them) — but the magnitude of this performance from Alison Lee isn’t being appreciated enough.
So here are some highlights for your viewing pleasure, see you next week golf fans.
This week in women’s golf
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The LPGA is in Japan this week, this is everything you need to know about the TOTO Japan Classic
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Five at The IX: Celine Boutier’s winning words from Malaysia
Q. You shot another round of 64, I believe, today, your second of the week. How have you managed Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club so well to end up with a victory here?
CELINE BOUTIER: Yeah, I think this course is a lot about placement and being accurate with your approach shots and your tee shots especially. I feel like the rough is definitely very deadly, so I feel like you’ve just got to put a premium on being on the fairway, and then from there I was able to hit a lot of shots close, and my putting was getting better throughout the week.
I definitely was able to take advantage of that today.
Q. A little bit of a weather delay before that playoff. What did you do to stay in the zone and be ready to play eight more holes?
CELINE BOUTIER: Yeah, I mean, it wasn’t easy because I wasn’t sure for how long we were going to be delayed, so I just went down to the locker room where it was a bit more quiet and kind of stayed in my own bubble.
Q. Talking about the playoff, that was a very long playoff. Tell us if you can your thought process going through that because there were a few times when you really had the advantage and then your opponent came back, and then she had the advantage, and you played really well and came back. Just tell us what was going on in your head.
CELINE BOUTIER: Yeah, I didn’t expect it to be that long, to be honest. I was just trying to do my best each hole and each time I had an opportunity to have a playoff, and I feel like we were both very close to winning a few times, and I just feel like we just had to make a birdie essentially. I knew she wasn’t going to make a mistake, so I had to go for it and give myself the best chances for birdies.
I feel like she’s an amazing player, and so I feel like it was definitely nerve-racking, but I just feel very happy to have held on for that long.
Q. You’re the first player this year on the LPGA to have four victories. How have you approached every tournament this year?
CELINE BOUTIER: Yeah, just honestly, just try to keep one day at a time and just do my best each day. I feel like I just want to be able to be more in contention as much as I can, and so for that I need my game to be there. It’s definitely very tough to win on Tour, and I feel like the more chances I get to play for the win, the more I will likely have some wins. I feel like I just try to put myself in this position as much as I can.
Yeah, this year has definitely been very unbelievable for me and very rewarding. I couldn’t be happier with the way this season is going.
Q. How will you celebrate and probably rest after this week, and what will you do to prepare for your last two events?
CELINE BOUTIER: Yeah, honestly I’m just looking forward to having a shower and a meal right now, first and foremost, and then I think I’m flying later out, going back to the States, and be able to rest as much as I can before the last two tournaments of the season.
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