A week after major win, Celine Boutier nabs 54-hole Women’s Scottish Open lead

A week after major win, Celine Boutier nabs 54-hole Women’s Scottish Open lead
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Celine Boutier is at it again.

The Frenchwoman is fresh off her first major championship last week in her home country and there doesn’t appear to be any letdown after a life-changing week surrounded by friends and family.

Boutier, sitting at 13 under, leads the Women’s Scottish Open by three shots over Sweden’s Maja Stark and Thailand’s Patty Tavatanakit.

Full-field scores from the Freed Group Women’s Scottish Open

“I feel like I’ve definitely been playing well and the fact that I got a good result last week also is giving me a little bit of confidence,” Boutier said. “And just trying to build off of that, and hopefully a good, solid round tomorrow.”

A “little bit” of confidence seems like a little bit of an understatement for the fourth-ranked player in the world. She trailed Stark as she made the turn Saturday before putting together a back nine that created some separation between herself and the field.

After making four birdies and only one bogey on the front nine, she did the same coming home at Dundonald Links, including back-to-back birdies to finish her round.

“It’s been great. I feel like I’ve been hitting a lot of good shots, which is nice to see, and I feel like my expectations have definitely been higher,” Boutier said. “Like even when I miss a good shot or I make a bogey, I definitely get more annoyed. So I definitely have to keep my, you know, expectations kind of like level and not get too far ahead of myself.”

Stark is chasing her second LPGA victory, with her lone title coming at the 2022 ISPS Handa World Invitational. She was 3 under through 10 holes in the third round before closing with bogeys at 11, 15 and the par-5 18th for an even-par 72.

When asked how she would assess her Saturday, she expressed frustration with her game.

“Honestly, very, very bad,” Stark said of her third round. “I just felt like I had a lot of good opportunities, but I just didn’t trust my irons today. And I made stupid mistakes on my putting where I changed my mind when I was standing over the putt, and then I aimed somewhere else, and then I missed. So that was just really stupid. Such immature golf, I guess.”

Tavatanakit matched Boutier with a 6-under 66 and will be in the final group Sunday with the newly minted major champion and Stark.

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