Celine Boutier wins fourth LPGA title in nine-hole playoff

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Maybank Championship R4
Posted on
October 29, 2023
by
The Editorial Team in ,
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

France's Celine Boutier has added another win to her already impressive season resume, grinding out a victory at the Maybank Championship in a nine-hole playoff with Thailand's Atthaya Thitikul, which tied the record for second-longest playoff in LPGA Tour history.

Boutier shot her second 64 of the week on Sunday to charge up the leaderboard from where she began the day at T8. In her first bogey-free round at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club, she made eight birdies, including three in a row on holes 3, 4 and 5 and holes 11, 12 and 13. Taking the solo lead late in the day, she headed onto 18 with a one stroke lead and a birdie opportunity to extend it. But her birdie putt lipped out for what would be the first time, but not the last time, on Sunday. Meanwhile Thitikul, playing one group behind, sank her birdie putt to force the 12th playoff of the season.

“Yeah, I didn't expect it to be that long, to be honest. I was just trying to do my best each hole and each time I had an opportunity to have a playoff, and I feel like we were both very close to winning a few times, and I just feel like we just had to make a birdie essentially,” Boutier said. “I knew she wasn't going to make a mistake, so I had to go for it and give myself the best chances for birdies. I feel like she's an amazing player, and so I feel like it was definitely nerve-racking, but I just feel very happy to have held on for that long.”

On the first playoff hole, both players found the fairway but Thitikul found trouble on the approach, hitting the roof of the hospitality pavilion where her ball bounced off into the rough. Boutier laid up and chipped onto the green, giving herself a 30-foot putt for birdie while Atthaya’s third shot left her on the fringe at the front of the bunker. A great chip from there gave her a good par chance, but Boutier would putt first. The Frenchwoman nearly ended it there, but her birdie putt stopped just inches short. Meanwhile, Thitikul converted the 7-foot par putt to extend the playoff.

Back on 18 tee, Boutier found the fairway again while Thitikul hit it well right into the rough where her ball was embedded into a wet patch. While she took a free drop, Boutier hit her second shot into the left side rough just before the horns blew to pause play due to lightning in the area. After an hour and a half delay, the two were back on 18. From the rough, Atthaya hit her second shot into a greenside bunker but went up and down for par. Boutier stuck her third shot to the same exact spot as the first playoff hole, and almost ended it again with a bolder putting stroke, but the ball lipped out.

“Yes, it was definitely frustrating to say the least,” Boutier said on her two lip outs on 18. “But I honestly hit two solid putts, and it was just maybe a little bit of pace lacking the first time, and then the second time maybe just under it a tiny bit. But yeah definitely felt like it was a bit of bad luck and I almost kind of questioned if it was my time to win this week. But definitely tried to stay patient and not really get ahead of myself too much.”

Both made par on 18 and headed to the par-3 15 for the third playoff hole, where both hit the green but neither stuck it close. Another pair of pars took them back to 18. Thitikul found the rough again on her drive and pitched out onto the fairway while Boutier hit two solid shots, finding the fairway each time. But Thitikul’s third shot was perfect. She stuck it to 8 feet from far back on the fairway and Boutier did the same from 75 yards away. Each made their birdie putt and went back to 15. This time, Boutier found the green but Thitikul did not, landing her ball on the fringe right of the hole and 24 feet away. She missed just left, leaving Boutier with 15-foot birdie chance to win. She also missed left and the two returned to 18 for the fourth time.

Both made par again on 18 and went back to 15 for the seventh playoff hole, three holes short of the LPGA Tour record of 10. Here they would make par for the third time and return to 18 for the eighth playoff hole. Not showing any fatigue, Boutier and Thitikul matched each other shot for shot, each finding the fairway off the tee and laying up to 65 yards. Thitikul put the pressure on with her approach shot, sticking it within 5 feet, but Boutier did the same pitching it within Thitikul’s shot. Each made birdie and headed to sudden death hole number nine, where it would end.

Still matching one another, both players hit it within 10 feet. Each with a chance for birdie, Thitikul missed her putt and Boutier clinched the opportunity to secure her sixth career victory on the LPGA Tour. With her win, Boutier takes the lead in the Rolex Player of the Year standings, surpassing three-time 2023 champion Lilia Vu.

“I definitely wanted to win that award at some point in my career. I really did not expect it to be this season,” Boutier said. “I just feel like it's so hard to just be able to win already and just to be able to have the chance to have this award at the end of the season is something that I definitely don't take for granted. I feel like it's an unbelievable amount of talent on Tour, and I'm so happy to be able to lead for that award this year.

Rookie sensation Rose Zhang of the United States and Thailand’s Jamine Suwannapura tied for third after rounds of 71 and 70, respectively. It is Zhang’s fifth top-10 finish on the LPGA Tour in just her 12th event as a professional.

Chinese Taipei’s Peiyun Chien finished solo fifth after shooting all four rounds in the 60s, one of just four players to do so. The other three to do it were Nelly Korda, Brooke Henderson and Gemma Dryburgh, who finished T6.

Pos.PlayerTo ParScoresTotal
1Celine Boutier-2170 - 64 - 69 - 64267
2Atthaya Thitikul-2166 - 71 - 62 - 68267
T3Jasmine Suwannapura-1963 - 69 - 67 - 70269
T3Rose Zhang-1965 - 68 - 65 - 71269
5Peiyun Chien-1865 - 69 - 68 - 68270
T6Nelly Korda-1769 - 69 - 67 - 66271
T6Brooke M. Henderson-1769 - 67 - 69 - 66271
T6Gemma Dryburgh-1767 - 69 - 67 - 68271
9Megan Khang-1667 - 70 - 65 - 70272
10Gaby Lopez-1566 - 71 - 68 - 68273
T11Lydia Ko-1468 - 71 - 65 - 70274
T11Nasa Hataoka-1469 - 69 - 64 - 72274
T13Pajaree Anannarukarn-1373 - 69 - 66 - 67275
T13Chanettee Wannasaen-1370 - 66 - 71 - 68275
T15Allisen Corpuz-1268 - 74 - 67 - 67276
T15A Lim Kim-1269 - 66 - 74 - 67276
T17Ruoning Yin-1168 - 68 - 72 - 69277
T17Minami Katsu-1169 - 71 - 67 - 70277
T17Hannah Green-1164 - 70 - 72 - 71277
T20Maja Stark-1074 - 68 - 69 - 67278
T20Yuka Saso-1067 - 73 - 71 - 67278
T20Olivia Cowan-1070 - 70 - 70 - 68278
T20Cheyenne Knight-1069 - 71 - 70 - 68278
T20Stephanie Meadow-1069 - 70 - 69 - 70278
T20Jin Young Ko-1069 - 70 - 69 - 70278
T20Xiyu Lin-1069 - 70 - 69 - 70278
T20Emily Kristine Pedersen-1066 - 71 - 70 - 71278
T20Sei Young Kim-1069 - 67 - 65 - 77278
T29Alexa Pano-968 - 71 - 71 - 69279
T29Hye-Jin Choi-968 - 70 - 71 - 70279
T29Jodi Ewart Shadoff-972 - 69 - 67 - 71279
T29Ayaka Furue-966 - 72 - 69 - 72279
T29Gina Kim-965 - 70 - 72 - 72279
T34Lauren Coughlin-869 - 74 - 68 - 69280
T34Sarah Kemp-869 - 74 - 67 - 70280
T34Grace Kim-865 - 72 - 73 - 70280
T34Leona Maguire-871 - 69 - 68 - 72280
T38Yuna Nishimura-770 - 72 - 72 - 67281
T38Ariya Jutanugarn-770 - 71 - 69 - 71281
T40Jennifer Kupcho-670 - 70 - 74 - 68282
T40Perrine Delacour-669 - 73 - 69 - 71282
T40Sarah Schmelzel-671 - 70 - 70 - 71282
T40Madelene Sagstrom-672 - 67 - 71 - 72282
T40Linn Grant-665 - 71 - 71 - 75282
T45Hae Ran Ryu-569 - 75 - 69 - 70283
T45Yu Liu-571 - 70 - 70 - 72283
T47Dottie Ardina-473 - 68 - 74 - 69284
T47Narin An-470 - 72 - 70 - 72284
T47Ashleigh Buhai-469 - 73 - 70 - 72284
T47Moriya Jutanugarn-470 - 71 - 69 - 74284
T47Maria Fassi-469 - 73 - 67 - 75284
T52Natasha Andrea Oon-370 - 71 - 73 - 71285
T52Esther Henseleit-374 - 68 - 71 - 72285
T52Mi Hyang Lee-370 - 72 - 71 - 72285
T55Andrea Lee-273 - 68 - 75 - 70286
T55Patty Tavatanakit-268 - 74 - 73 - 71286
T57Jeneath Wong (a)-172 - 71 - 72 - 72287
T57Amy Yang-173 - 72 - 69 - 73287
59Stephanie KyriacouPar70 - 71 - 74 - 73288
T60Hinako Shibuno+171 - 69 - 79 - 70289
T60Jenny Shin+170 - 75 - 69 - 75289
T60Albane Valenzuela+172 - 70 - 72 - 75289
T63Linnea Strom+271 - 73 - 72 - 74290
T63Aditi Ashok+267 - 80 - 68 - 75290
T65Eun-Hee Ji+371 - 72 - 75 - 73291
T65Ashley Lau+372 - 71 - 73 - 75291
T67Matilda Castren+473 - 74 - 69 - 76292
T67Danielle Kang+469 - 68 - 76 - 79292
T69Nanna Koerstz Madsen+572 - 79 - 74 - 68293
T69Ryann O'Toole+571 - 70 - 78 - 74293
T69Celine Borge+569 - 76 - 73 - 75293
72Yan Liu+772 - 74 - 74 - 75295
73Alyaa Abdulghany+974 - 72 - 80 - 71297
74Jing Xuen Ng (a)+1174 - 78 - 71 - 76299
75Kelly Tan+1371 - 76 - 74 - 80301
T76Amanda Tan+1573 - 80 - 77 - 73303
T76Ida Ayu Melati+1574 - 79 - 74 - 76303
W/DAngel Yin
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Maybank Championship 2023

Date: October 26th - 29th 2023

Location: Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club, Malaysia

Purse: $3,000,000

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