After coming just short in 2022 at Dundonald with a second-place finish, Frenchwoman Céline Boutier conquered the Scottish links to win her second-consecutive LPGA Tour event at the FREED GROUP Women’s Scottish Open presented by Trust Golf . She is the first person since Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn in 2016 to win a major and then the tournament after, as well as the first to win back-to-back tournaments since Korean Jin Young Ko claimed victories at the Cognizant Founders Cup and BMW Ladies Championship.
“I don't even think I could have dreamt that it would happen but yeah, I mean, it's just been amazing to be able to play that well and I feel like to even have the chance to be in contention in the weekend this week was a complete bonus,” said Boutier. “To be able to hold the trophy again this week has been pretty insane.”
Boutier started Sunday steady, recording five-straight pars until carding her first birdie on No. 6 and added one more on 9 to take a three-stroke lead at the turn. She would record a birdie on 13 thanks to a solid 12-foot putt, but was shaken a bit after bogeys at 14 and 16 brought the field within range. But Boutier kept her head up, notching her last birdie of the day on 17 to reach 15-under and win by two strokes over Korean Hyo Joo Kim, as she heads into the final major championship of the year at the AIG Women’s Open a five-time victor on the LPGA Tour.
“I was definitely nervous. It's tough to win out here and to be able to have the chances is always a little bit nerve-wracking. I feel like you always want to do your best but sometimes you can try to force it a little bit too much. Definitely after my first bogey, I kind of was a little bit disappointed of how it happened, just that three-putt was kind of stupid,” said Boutier. “There were some tough shots and I feel like it's going to happen. I've been playing really good golf and sometimes my standard get way too high I guess but it is normal to make bogeys, so definitely tried to calm down a little bit and just try to go back to playing and hitting shots.”
Kim, who started the day in a tie for ninth, tied the low round of the day with a 7-under 65 to earn her sixth runner-up finish of her career and eighth-straight top-20 result. Kim only carded one bogey in her last 36 holes, and was the only bogey-free player in the final round. The reigning KPMG Women’s PGA Champion Ruoning Yin of China, who carded the most birdies through 72 holes with 24, finished in solo third at 12-under after a 6-under 66.
Korea's A Lim Kim and Sweden's Maja Stark tied for fourth at 11-under, with Kim carding a 66 and Stark a 71 on Sunday. It was a bit of a roller coast day for Stark, who played in the final grouping with Boutier and Patty Tavatanakit. Carding a birdie on her third hole, Stark unfortantely struggled on the par-3 fourth, finding the right greenside bunker off the tee to ultimately drop two shots heading to No. 5. But on the sixth, Stark masterfully notched her first ace in a Tour event, canceling out the double-bogey to get back to 11-under overall. She recorded two bogeys on 14 and 16, similar to Boutier, before closing with a birdie on the 18th to finish under par in the final 18 holes.
“I think I have the capacity to win,” said Stark. “If more things click and I have more of the Friday rounds next week where everything just falls into place at the same time, that would be great.”