Three French women in the footsteps of Patricia Meunier-Lebouc

Céline Boutier, Pauline Roussin-Bouchard and Perrine Delacour are the three tricolor chances this week at Rancho Mirage

For this latest edition in Rancho Mirage before the relocation of the now Chevron Championship (formerly ANA Inspiration) to Houston, a trio of French golfers have been hired, combining youth and Majors experience. What if one of the three put her name on the list, nineteen years after Patricia Meunier-Lebouc?

By Lionel Vella

Now 18th player in the world thanks to his beautiful 3rd place obtained on March 13 for Honda LPGA Thailandin the land of their ancestors, Celine Boutier is undoubtedly the spearhead of French women’s golf. In five starts in 2022, the Dallas-based Francilienne (Texas) has already signed two other top 5 (4th to tournament of champions and in LPGA gain bridge end of January).

At 28 years old, twice victorious in the LPGA tour, has a very strong experience in Grand Slam tournaments. He will thus participate this Thursday in his 25th Major since his debut in 2013, when he was still an amateur. (56 to British Open). It is true that his proportion is mixed at the moment: 11 failed cuts, 8 times beyond the first 30. However, he has managed to finish in the top 10 three times: 5th in theus open in June 2019 when she was in the lead after 54 holes, sixth at the British Open the following August, and seventh at the KPMG PGA Championship June 27, 2021.

Chunky roughs encourage you to stay on track.

For the fifth time since Chevron Championship (ex-ANA Inspiration)Céline Boutier, on the other hand, has never shone in the Dinah Shore Tournament Course. After two failed cuts in 2015 and 2019, he finished 44th in 2020 (tournament postponed to September due to Covid) then 50 last year with a single card over the pair (73 the first day).

The first time you approach the course, it can be quite intimidating because you rarely play in such thick rough during the LPGA season.he explained to us before the 2021 edition. The design is also quite long…Favours long hitters. This can be unsettling at first, but the more you play it, the more you’ll know where the traps are, where the flags will be placed. In terms of strategy, it is better to know where to put the ball. In short, in this type of course, experience always helps. Preparing the route here is complicated. The fairways are quite narrow with, as I said, quite thick, rough and quite firm greens. It’s pretty hard to stop the ball if you’re not on the fairway. Then everything depends on the weather, with or without wind. With, it makes things less obvious, but it’s still a grand slam. It is a much more difficult course than those normally played on the LPGA. »

Perrine Delacour, 30 at the ANA 2020…

With four cuts made in five openings in 2022, perrine delacour is also in a good dynamic on the LPGA, having recorded in particular a 13th place for HSBC Women’s World Championship early March in Singapore. 87 in the world rankings, Picardy has participated in twelve Grand Slam tournaments since 2015, including the KPMG PGA Championship five times, and has only failed four times. The best result of him is here in mirage ranch which he did by ranking 30th at -3 in 2020. However, he missed the cut last year.

He turned pro in August 2021, calmly victorious in the Women’s European Tour (LET)in Sweden, Pauline Roussin-BouchardThe 21-year-old validated his full playing rights on the LPGA last December by finishing second on the marathon scorecards. (more than 8 rounds in two weeks). Driven by an innate rage to win, the student ofalain albertipresent at his side this week in California, he started his campaign in the United States brilliantly by offering an 18th place on the Gainbridge LPGA on January 27 and then hanging a top 10 (8th) on February 3 at the LPGA Driving Championship. 5th in theEpson Tower (ex-Symmetry Tour) on March 6, however he experienced his first failure on the LPGA last week at the classic JTBC in Carlsbad (California).

“What a pity that the tournament is going away”

A rookie on the American circuit, Pauline Roussin-Bouchard also has some experience in major tournaments. Had she not made the cut in Evian in 2019, she would have been 46th at the 2020 US Open before finishing 38th at theAmundi Evian Championship last summer. On the other hand, it will be his big debut at Rancho Mirage. In the Major version it must be specified.

I actually played the ANA Youth Inspiration when I was youngershe blew us an interview he gave us recently. I hadn’t been far from qualifying… But I’m very sad that the tournament is going away from here. patricia (Meunier-Lebouc) won in 2003 (so Kraft Nabisco Championship). This is a tournament that has always been close to my heart. I have always loved the place, its atmosphere, the course, which is magnificent… I always told myself that one day I would play this Major… And the fact that a Frenchwoman won it, the motivation is even stronger. Also, this year, it’s the tournament’s 50th anniversary… »

Photos: AFP

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