The rookies at Superstition Mountain— Celine Boutier’s desert victory — Must-click women’s golf links
The IX: Golf Thursday with Addie Parker, Mar. 30, 2023
Happy Golf Thursday! I’m doing things a little backwards — last week, our focus was on the ANWA while the LPGA Drive On Championship was happening in Arizona. This week, I want to discuss what unfolded in the Grand Canyon state, while the best amateurs are having a real shootout down in Georgia. It’s all a bit wonky but hey — it keeps life interesting! Now onto the nitty gritty.
Celine Boutier beat out Georgia Hall in a playoff, to secure her third victory on tour, making her the most winningest French golfer ever (in her seventh year). Although this is just her third victory, Boutier has solidified herself as a formidable opponent. In her rookie season (2017), she made the cut in 19 of 20 starts while capturing two Epson wins and eight top-10 finishes. Her consistent and accurate play style earned her a spot on the 2019 Solheim Cup team, where she had a 4-0-0 record.
What’s notable about Boutier is that even in the seasons without wins, she gradually gets better. She makes more cuts, to finish in more top-10s, she is gradually making more and more money all while gaining notoriety. The 2023 rookies can learn a thing or two from her.
24 rookies played last week, here’s how they fared:
Epson Tour grad Xiaowen Yin, was off to a hot start in her LPGA debut. She fired an opening round 68, followed by a 67 on Friday to head into the weekend tied for second place at 9-under par. Her goal for the week? To simply make the cut. When asked about if she’s feeling any pressure as a rookie she replied, “No pressure, just play my golf,” she said. “I hope I keep playing good the last two days.” The weekend was a bit of a lull after a fiery first two days, she shot 71-71 to finish T-39.
Alexa Pano, a Q-series grad, made some moves on Saturday after firing a 67, landing her T-57 alongside Nelly Korda and Lizette Salas.
The Norwegian rookie Celine Borge eased her way into moving day Saturday, where she had four birdies in her first four holes, and ended her day with an eagle on the 18th. Borge finished the tourney at T-14 at 15-under par.
Hae Ran Ryu was the crown jewel of the 2023 rookie class, finishing inside the top-10 at T-7! She was in the final group on Sunday with a real shot to win, and when asked about her mindset about being in the mix she was candid about her experience. “I played in the final groups a lot when I played in Korea, but first time in the LPGA, so I really do feel like a rookie-rookie. I’ll take each and every shot carefully tomorrow.”
Other notable names that didn’t make the cut were Lucy Li, Grace Kim and Gabriella Then.
For stories out of the Augusta, the LET, and all things Epson head to links so you’re in the know! See you next week, golf fans. (IT’LL BE MASTERS WEEK!!!!!!!!)
Get 24/7 coverage of women’s soccer with The Equalizer
The 2023 NWSL season may be over, but women’s soccer never stops. Make sure you are ready for all the action with daily coverage from our friends at The Equalizer. Right now, subscribers to The IX can subscribe to The Equalizer for just $19.99 in their first year.
This week in women’s golf
If you have links you wish to share for Golf Thursday, sources for golf news, or want to talk about anything at all, you can email me at email@example.com ! Discussion of any kind is always welcome…I mean it…MESSAGE ME!
Epson Tour News
The 120-player field for the Casino Del Sol Golf Classic has been finalized by the Epson Tour, the third annual tournament will be held at Sewailo Golf Club in the Grand Canyon State from March 30-April 2
The Next, a 24/7/365 women’s basketball newsroom
The Next: A basketball newsroom brought to you by The IX. 24/7/365 women’s basketball coverage, written, edited and photographed by our young, diverse staff, dedicated to breaking news, analysis, historical deep dives and projections about the game we love.
Subscribe to make sure this vital work, creating a pipeline of young, diverse media professionals to write, edit and photograph the great game, continues and grows. Subscriptions include some exclusive content, but the reason for subscriptions is a simple one: making sure our writers and editors creating 24/7/365 women’s basketball coverage get paid to do it.
Five at The IX: Celine Boutier’s winning presser
Q. You’re now the winningest golfer in French history. Congratulations.
CELINE BOUTIER: Thank you.
Q. I want to know how that feels and also how amazing it was to have Anne Marie Palli following you today?
CELINE BOUTIER: Yeah, it was kind of unbelievable. I knew she was coming because she came yesterday and she lives in Phoenix. She’s always cheering on the Frenchies. I really appreciate her support. She told me she had won this tournament, too, so it’s definitely a little bit more special to be able to win after her.
And then yeah, super happy to finally get my third win.
Q. I feel like you came so close a handful of times [before this] but you never lost it, you got just got beat. Today, made that bogey. How determined were you to not let this one go?
CELINE BOUTIER: Yeah, definitely not easy because I feel like I’m just doing my best, but sometimes the harder you try the worse it is because you just have to sometimes let go of the result and just focus on what you can control.
And then after I made my putt and I went into the playoff I definitely also was thinking, if I’m going to miss my flight I’m going to make sure I win this thing. I’m not losing and missing my flight, so I was definitely having a little bit more motivation this there.
Q. From the playoff with Georgia Hall, Solheim Cup teammate, is it tougher playing against somebody you’ve been a teammate with?
CELINE BOUTIER: Yeah, I was honestly not looking forward to it. It’s a bittersweet feeling because you obviously want to win, but at the same time I really think she’s an amazing player. I feel like she’s a great person, too.
She is a really good friend of mine. So I feel like it’s not always easy, but I also I’m a little bit competitive so I feel like I definitely want to win as well.
But it’s not the greatest feeling.
Q. Does this kind of validate your place on tour now? I feel like you’ve won twice. Now I feel like beating a player like Georgia and playing this well against this field this week, do you feel validated with this win?
CELINE BOUTIER: Yeah, it’s definitely very gratifying. I think it’s very much a little bit of a relief because I feel like I just — I’ve been trying to win for few years now. I guess it’s been two years. Was definitely a little bit — feeling a little bit down at times and a little bit frustrated thinking, can I actually do it?
To be able to do to this week, like you said, with this strong of a field is definitely very good for confidence.
|By: Annie Peterson, @AnnieMPeterson, AP Women’s Soccer|
|By: Joey Dillon, @JoeyDillon, Freelance Tennis Writer|
|By: Howard Megdal, @HowardMegdal, The Next|
|By: Addie Parker, @addie_parker, The IX|
|By: @TheIceGarden, The Ice Garden|
|By: Lela Moore, @runlelarun, Freelance Writer|