(Reuters) – Celine Boutier ended a long drought for French players on the LPGA Tour when she won the Vic Open in Australia on Sunday.
With her two-shot victory, Boutier became the first woman from France to win on the global circuit since Patricia Meunier-Lebouc in 2003.
“I’m super excited with the way I handled myself. It’s not always easy to be able to get your first win,” Boutier said after staving off nerves for her breakthrough victory.
“It’s been something I’ve been working toward since I turned pro “
Boutier joined Meunier-Lebouc (two), Anne-Marie Palli (two) and Catherine Lacoste (one) as French winners on the LPGA Tour.
A 30-foot birdie at the 15th hole proved decisive for Boutier, pulling her two strokes clear and allowing her the relative luxury of making par for the win on eight-under-par 281 total.
“I feel like I’ve struggled a bit all day with my long game and I just didn’t have many birdie opportunities,” she said.
“On 15 when I made that putt, kind of really made me motivate myself and made me really more confident in my abilities to win the tournament.”
Boutier, 25, was born in Paris to Thai parents. She had an outstanding amateur career while playing American college golf for Duke University in North Carolina, and now lives in Dallas, Texas.
The Vic Open at Barwon Heads in Victoria was a joint venture between the European and LPGA Tours, with the men and women playing two separate tournaments at the same time, for the same prize money, albeit with the women using different tees.
Scot David Law won the men’s event for his first European Tour success.
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Christian Radnedge