Evian Championship: Celine Boutier closes in on first major win on home soil in France


Celine Boutier moves into a three-shot lead after third round at the Evian Championship in France; ‘It’s been amazing to see the support from the fans. But I’m just taking it one shot at a time,’ Boutier said; Watch the final major of the year live on Sky Sports

        Evian Championship: Celine Boutier closes in on first major win on home soil in France

Highlights from the third round of the Evian Championship in Evian-les-Bains, France.

France’s Celine Boutier is 18 holes away from winning her first major at the Amundi Evian Championship on home soil.

Boutier shot a four-under-par 67 on Saturday to build a three-stroke lead going into the final round in Evian-les-Bains, France.

Boutier has won three times on the LPGA Tour but is seeking her first major.

    Celine Boutier leads at the halfway stage as Carlota Ciganda is disqualifiedAmundi Evian Championship: Latest leaderboardStream the Evian Championship live on NOW

        Evian Championship: Celine Boutier closes in on first major win on home soil in France

Celine Boutier, looking for her first major win, is playing in her home country (Photo: Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

Boutier sank four birdies on the front nine to start her third round with a four-under 31 going out. She made one bogey and one birdie the rest of the way.

“I’m feeling very satisfied with my round,” said Boutier. “It was definitely a grind. I was able to start off pretty good. I missed a few shots in the beginning of the back nine, but was able to scramble, and so it was pretty positive and a solid round for me today.

“I didn’t start that good to be honest. I missed the first three greens but got a good break on two and was able to chip in. Then I just had really good chances on the two par-fives, seven and nine, and was able to take advantage of that.

“I was just trying to focus on hitting a good shot, and if I happen to have a birdie opportunity, I hit a solid putt. It was definitely positive and felt pretty good to start very good on the front.”

Boutier, who is No 15 in the world, is the top-ranked French player and has been feeling the home support this week but has also been trying not to put any pressure on herself.

She added: “It’s been amazing. It’s been really amazing to be able to see and hear the support from the fans. I feel like it’s been very enjoyable for me. I am just trying to take it one shot at a time.

“The fact that my family is here and we’re staying in a house 15, 20 minutes away helps me take my mind off golf and the tournament. That’s been helpful for me to relax and not think about golf.”

The chasing pack, filled with major champions, still could not close the gap with her on Saturday.

Japan’s Nasa Hataoka shot a 68 to move into sole possession of second place at eight under. Hataoka lost a playoff to Yuka Saso of Japan at the 2021 US Women’s Open and is vying for her first major title as well.

“Hopefully I will get more birdies tomorrow. It was good iron shots and distance control,” Hataoka said.

“Also I was good too with my putting stroke, so I was really comfortable. Tomorrow is another new day, and I want to enjoy the next 18 holes.”

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Defending champion Brooke Henderson of Canada moved into contention at seven under with a rollercoaster 67.

Henderson rolled in six birdies for a front-nine 29 that got her to nine under on the leaderboard, but a double bogey at the par-four 12th brought her back to the pack.

Henderson is tied with Australia’s Minjee Lee.

The round of the day was Nelly Korda’s bogey-free, seven-under 64. The world No 2 climbed to six under for the championship, tied for fifth place with Saso.

Watch the Evian Championship, the Senior Open and the 3M Open this weekend live on Sky Sports! Stream the Evian Championship and more with NOW.

        Evian Championship: Celine Boutier closes in on first major win on home soil in France

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