Celine Boutier (Montrouge, France) made a season-best nine birdies and tied her career low round with a 7-under, 65 on Friday at the Four Winds Invitational to build a three-shot lead into the weekend at Blackthorn Golf Club. Boutier made eight birdies over her final 13 holes and will take aim at her second win of the season.

Chicago native Elizabeth Szokol (Winnetka, Illinois) and Erica Popson (Davenport, Florida) are three back at 4-under, 68. 

Boutier, who ranks second on the Volvik Race for the Card money list, would jump to the top spot with the first-place payout of $22,500 because current No. 1, Nanna Koerstz Madsen, was disqualified for failing to sign her scorecard after the round. Boutier currently trails Koerstz Madsen by $13,232. 

Boutier started somewhat slow with two bogeys over her first five holes before a flurry of four straight birdies to close the front nine. She started the back nine with three pars and then made four birdies over the next five holes. Boutier ended the round with a 10-foot par putt on 18 to match her career low round. 

“I couldn’t think of starting the tournament better,” said Boutier. “It ties my lowest round ever so it’s exciting and I feel like I am in good position to win this tournament.”

The 23-year-old hit 14-of-14 fairways and attempted just 27 putts on the round. 

Boutier won her first career Symetra Tour event about a month ago at the Self Regional Healthcare Foundation Women’s Health Classic in Greenwood, South Carolina. 

“I’m in a good position now on the money list, but there a bunch of tournaments coming up and anything can happen,” said Boutier, who played college golf in the ACC at Duke. “If I can win this week, it would make me feel a lot more comfortable. I would put myself in a better position for the last half of the season.”

Boutier has five top 20 finishes this season and even recently Monday Qualified for the LPGA event in Ann Arbor. 

“I do feel like my game is coming around and I just want to take advantage of all the opportunities that come around. Hopefully I can get one more win or two would be awesome. 

Boutier has her brother, Kevin, on the bag and her mom following each shot.

“He finished school (college) a month ago and he came to caddy for me right when he was done, which was really nice,” said Boutier. “He definitely knows me and how I work and he is a really calm person.”

 

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Written By: Symetra Tour Communications