Boutier beats Hall in playoff to claim 3rd LPGA victory, Canadian Szeryk finishes four shots back
Celine Boutier tees off on the first hole during the final round of the Drive On Championship golf tournament, Sunday, March 26, 2023, in Gold Canyon, Ariz. (AP Photo/Darryl Webb)
The Associated Press
Published Sunday, March 26, 2023 10:14PM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, March 26, 2023 10:14PM EDT
GOLD CANYON, Ariz. (AP) — Celine Boutier beat Georgia Hall with a birdie on the first playoff hole Sunday to win the LPGA Drive on Championship.
Boutier forced a playoff by making a testy birdie putt at the par-5 18th to close out a 4-under 68, matching Hall (65) at 20-under 268 in the LPGA's first full-field event of the season.
Playing the 18th hole again, neither golfer found the green with their second shot of the playoff. Boutier, chipping from nearly the same spot as she did in regulation short and right of the green, pitched to about 4 feet. Meanwhile, Hall hit her second shot into a greenside bunker, blasted beyond the hole and failed to convert her birdie effort. That set the stage for Boutier's winning birdie putt.
With the victory, the 29-year-old Boutier claimed her third LPGA victory and became the winningest French player on tour, moving past Patricia Meunier-Lebouc and Anne-Marie Palli. She had previously won the 2019 ISPS Handa Vic Open and 2021 ShopRite Classic.
Maddie Szeryk of London, Ont., who was tied for the lead entering play Saturday, finished tied for seventh at 16-under. Maude-Aimee Leblanc of Sherbrooke, Que., finished tied for 48th at 10-under.
After three birdie-filled rounds at Superstition Mountain Golf Club, the final round started with 17 players within three shots of the lead and stayed to form. Hall made the most of her fourth round, posting one of three 7-under par scores, including going 6 under on the back nine to charge into the early lead.
Japan’s Ayaka Furue closed with a 65 and finished third at 19 under. Na Rin An of South Korea was alone in fourth at 18 under with a closing 67, while American Ally Ewing (67) and South Korea's Jin Young Ko (68) were another stroke back in fifth.