Celine Boutier wins Evian Championship for first major title

Celine Boutier carded a 3-under 68 on Sunday to capture her first major championship with a 6-stroke victory at the Evian Championship in Evian-les-Bains, France.

Boutier, 29, recorded four birdies against one bogey on the day to finish the tournament at 14-under 270. She pocketed a $1 million check with the win.

Her 6-shot advantage tied the biggest win at a women’s major in the past 10 years, along with Lydia Ko‘s victory at the 2015 Evian Championship.

The victory, her fourth on the LPGA Tour, was especially sweet for Boutier, who was born in Clamart, France, which is a little more than five hours southeast of Evian Resort Golf Club.

“It has been my biggest dream since I started watching golf,” Boutier said. “This tournament has always been very special to me, even just watching as a teenager, and just to be able to hold this trophy is pretty unbelievable.”

Boutier is the third woman from France to win a major, following Patricia Meunier-Lebouc at the 2004 Kraft Nabisco Championship and Catherine Lacoste, who was an amateur when she captured the 1967 U.S. Women’s Open.

Her previous best finish at the Evian was a tie for 29th on two occasions. She missed the cut last year.

Boutier took a four-shot lead into the final round and eased any worries she may have had with two birdies to start and another on the fifth hole.

“That was pretty unexpected,” Boutier said. “I definitely felt like I handled the first few holes really well. I had a good opportunity on 1, and the putt on 2 was definitely a bonus.”

Defending champion Brooke Henderson shot a 70 on Sunday to finish in second place at 8 under. Celine Borge (68), Gaby Lopez (68), A Lim Kim (69), Yuka Saso (70) and Nasa Hataoka (72) tied for third at 7 under.

“I feel like things are really coming together,” Henderson said. “It’s been a little bit of up-and-down year, so it’s really nice to finish strong this week.”

American Rose Zhang shot a 68 in the final round to tie for ninth at 5 under. It marks her third straight top-10 finish since turning pro in May, along with a tie for eighth at the KPMG PGA Championship and a tie for ninth at the U.S. Women’s Open. Zhang, who did not play the first major of the year, the Chevron Championship, is the only golfer to finish in the top 10 in each of the past three majors, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

“Game plan was just to execute every shot that I could and really commit to my swing,” Zhang said. “I feel like I wasn’t really playing my own game and my own style, so just having the confidence to be able to hit the shots today really allowed me to go out there and try to get a good score in.”

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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