The Amundi Evian Championship is special. Just ask Céline Boutier, one of five Frenchwomen in the major’s 126-player field.
“Playing mainly in America makes me miss home. I usually come back for Evian and the French Open, which are the only two weeks I get to compete in front of the French public,” said Boutier, who played the weekend in three of her previous four appearances at Evian Resort Golf Club. “The fact that the organization is always so great and glamorous in pink makes you dream of playing golf, especially when as a young girl. Even the posters are always so pretty.
“It’s a major that we have at home, which is something that not many people can experience.”
Boutier captured her career-best result (T29) at the Amundi Evian Championship in 2014. But memories of the event extend beyond competition for the LPGA Tour champion.
“Evian is a special one for me because it’s the tournament I watched growing up, since I started golf,” Boutier said. “I was always watching, so my first time playing [in 2014] was surreal. There’s something about the site and views, even though you have played many times before it always takes your breath away with the Lake [Geneva].
“I just remember the one Paula Creamer won [in 2005] was pretty cool because she was my idol growing up. Also, Michelle Wie was playing and finished top three, which was pretty unbelievable for an amateur and she was so young. Those were the highlights I remember from watching.”
Now in her fifth year competing on the LPGA Tour, Boutier is finding a rhythm. She has captured three top-10 finishes in her last four starts and not missed a cut since early March. That stretch includes three paychecks at three majors, a trend she hopes to continue in her native country this week.
“For me, I just need to know I’m prepared,” said Boutier, who finished in a tie for seventh at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship last month. “When I feel like I’ve prepared myself, along with my caddie [Colin Cann] and strategy, things like that, I just feel more confident. What I have learned from my past experiences is that you can't really think too far ahead. Even if you post a good round, it doesn't mean you're going to lift the trophy. Take it one day at a time because majors are usually tougher courses.”