DURHAM, N.C. – Duke University alumna Celine Boutier claimed a one-stroke win at the Symetra Tour’s Sioux Falls GreatLIFE Challenge Sunday to lock up a spot on the LPGA Tour for the 2018 season. Boutier, a 2016 Blue Devil graduate, turned in an 11-under, 273, to win her second Symetra Tour event of the 2017 campaign.
Boutier earned a check of $31,500 to move her to $96,748 earned in 17 starts. She jumped to second on the Volvik Race for the Card money list and has now earned the fifth most in a single-season in tour history.
“It’s amazing, I definitely wanted to win again this season," said Boutier. “It’s so great that I had my chance this week at the biggest tournament of the season. I’m just ecstatic.”
Boutier has made eight starts on the LPGA and now will get to play the tour full-time for the first time in 2018.
“It is something I’ve been working on for a long time because I’ve always wanted to be on the LPGA,” said Boutier. “I’m just going to use the last couple events on the Symetra Tour to get ready and prepare for next year on the LPGA.”
Boutier carded a course-record, 63, on Saturday and backed that up with an even-par, 71, Sunday to win the title. She moved her score to 13-under following a birdie on No. 12 in the final round, but back-to-back bogeys on the final two holes dropped her score to 11-under. Boutier won the title by one stroke over Benyapa Niphatsophon.
“The conditions were tough,” said Boutier. “I kind of had a slow start with nine pars on the front so it wasn’t bad, but not amazing either. The wind started to pick up late on the back nine and I made bogeys on the last two, but I feel like overall my game was solid.”
Duke featured three golfers on the LPGA Tour in 2017 with Brittany Lang, Lindy Duncan and Laetitia Beck.