As could be expected, Celine Boutier was teeming with emotion after securing her first major victory at the Amundi Evian Championship, causing her to skip a few REM cycles after she traveled to Paris to celebrate the historic title.
Boutier became a French icon after her win on home soil, taking the crown by a comfortable margin by finishing the tournament at 14 under which was good enough for a six-stroke victory over runner-up Brooke Henderson.
Time spent with family and friends after the victory had her so revved up that she couldn’t sleep in advance of her media appearance at the Freed Group Women’s Scottish Open, which will take place this week at Dundonald Links in Ayrshire, Scotland.
And who needs a sleep cycle? Boutier insisted all week that winning the Amundi Evian would be a “dream scenario,” one that would make her season, if not her career, complete.
Of course, dreams don’t last forever. And while Boutier was still riding high on Tuesday, her clubs were just riding. When she arrived on-site in Scotland the Duke University product’s clubs had yet to finish the trip.
“First day off for me today,” she said, “but hopefully they will get on the next flight that’s coming tonight.”
It’s about the only thing that has gone wrong for Boutier over the last few days. She entered the Amundi Evian with three LPGA victories and three wins on the Ladies European Tour, but left with the prize she most coveted. Still, she’s smart enough to realize how fleeting success can be at this level.
“I think winning at any level is difficult. I think especially on the LPGA, the talent is just unbelievable and it’s very hard to be able to pull it off, and to be able to do it in major conditions is even harder because of the pressure and because of what it means because of the history,” she said. “And so I feel like, yeah, the fact that I had a chance to even play for the win on Sunday was already a big win for me, and to have the crowd behind you, I feel like it definitely also like carried me a little bit.”
Celine Boutier celebrates with the Amundi Evian Championship trophy following victory in the Amundi Evian Championship at Evian Resort Golf Club on July 30, 2023, in Evian-les-Bains, France. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
As for the final celebration, which included more champagne than even Botuier could have imaged, it’s something she’s been replaying in her mind ever since she clinched the crown.
“I never really pictured how it was going to happen. Obviously, it was such a dream for me. I wouldn’t even call it a goal for me this year. I obviously wanted to perform well in the majors,” she said. “But in the past I was never really able to play well in Evian, just the pressure of everything was a lot for me to handle and this year, I just decided to really do it for myself and not put so much pressure on myself. The fact that I even had a chance to play for the win in the final round was a big advantage for me and to pull it off on the final day to, have the crowd behind you, which I never imagined that they would be so loud and so energetic, so passionate about it.
“It felt like a win for me and it felt like a win for them as well. To be able to share it with everyone in my home country is an absolute dream come true.”
There’s no rest for the weary, however, as Boutier now prepares to meet up with an impressive field this week at the Scottish Open — a total of seven of the year’s 15 winners are expected to play, including Ashleigh Buhai (ShopRite LPGA Classic), Allisen Corpuz (U.S. Women’s Open), Linn Grant (Dana Open), Cheyenne Knight (Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational), Lilia Vu (Honda LPGA Thailand, Chevron Championship) and Ruoning Yin (DIO Implant LA Open, KPMG Women’s PGA Championship).
And Boutier’s mother and sister are still in tow, as they often make the trip to European stops when possible. Although the Evian was the one she truly wanted, Boutier said she’d be thrilled to play well this week, perhaps getting to celebrate again with her family and friends.
“That would be unbelievable. I feel like Scotland is definitely the Home of Golf, so it would be a goal of mine to win in Scotland for sure during my career,” she said. “So any opportunity I will have to play for the win, I will definitely try to seize it and do my best.”