DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.— Following the completion of the Symetra Tour Championship Monday at the LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla., former Duke golfers Celine Boutier and Yu Liu were awarded their 2018 LPGA Tour card.
Boutier, who graduated from Duke in 2016, finished third on the Symetra Tour money list with $112,044 and Liu, a 2014 All-America, placed fifth with $86,110. The top 10 finishers on the money list automatically earned their tour cards.
The 2014 WGCA National Player of the Year at Duke, Boutier carded eight top 10 finishes and two victories on the season. She won the Sioux Falls GreatLIFE Challenge and the Self Regional Healthcare Foundation Women’s Health Classic. Boutier made the cut in 18 of her 19 starts. Boutier is the first player from France to earn her card through the Symetra Tour since Perinne Delacour (2013).
“I’m super excited to finally start my career on the LPGA because it’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” said Boutier. “I just can’t wait to see how I can measure myself against the best in the world. It’s been a great year. Finishing in the top ten was my goal and I’m so excited that I achieved it. I feel like I learned a lot this year and the Symetra Tour was a great stepping stone to the LPGA.”
A native of China, Liu caught fire this season totaling nine top 10 placements and won the Tullymore Classic. She closed the season with a tied second finish at the Symetra Tour Championship. Liu totaled 10 top 20 finishes over her last 11 starts to conclude the year. She was honored with the Symetra Rising Star award for her improvement from 2016 when she only earned a bit over $25,000.
“It’s been a childhood dream for me to be able to say I’m on the LPGA,” commented Liu. “It was my goal at the start of the year and to be able to do that is just a dream come true. Being able to compete against the best players in the world and to show where I’m at, it really means a lot.”
Liu and Boutier will join former Blue Devils Brittany Lang and Lindy Duncan on the 2018 tour as of now with Laetitia Beck heading to qualifying school.
Here's the list of the 10 players who will graduate on to the LPGA.
1. Benyapa Niphatsophon $124,492
2. Hannah Green $113,880
3. Celine Boutier $112,044
4. Nanna Koerstz Madsen $93,115
5. Yu Liu $86,110
6. Erynne Lee $80,780
7. Lindsey Weaver $76,755
8. Anne-Catherine Tanguay $76,663
9. Emma Talley $76,556
10. Katelyn Dambaugh $63,023