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Breakthroughs for Law and Boutier at Vic Open

Celene Boutier and David Law
It was a day of firsts in the final round of the Vic Open at 13th Beach Golf Links on the Bellarine Peninsula near Melbourne with the men’s winner, David Law, and the winner of the women’s event, Celine Boutier, both winning for the first time on their respective tours.

27 year old Scotsman, Law, came from five shots off the pace through nine holes of his second round, reeling off a final nine of 31 including a dramatic eagle at the last to win by one over the two golfers who had battled it out for most of the day, Wade Ormsby and Brad Kennedy.

Law, who is in his rookie year on the European Tour after several years on the Challenge Tour, produced the round of the day (66) to win the first prize of $A$250,000 (equivalent), the round even including a one-shot penalty at the 9th after moving his ball.

Both Kennedy and Ormsby dropped shots at the 17th, Ormsby a double bogey and Kennedy a bogey which cost them both the chance of victory.

“It was fantastic, said Law. “I’ve never played a golf tournament like this before. We played alternate groups, it was good to catch-up with a lot of girls I grew up playing golf with as well. It was special with the crowd, especially on the weekend.

“There were a lot of folk about and on the fairways. It feels like, I don’t know it was almost when you were playing a top amateur tournament and the crowd followed behind you.  It was a great event and one I'll definitely look back to.

“It's massive.  It's not something I expected.  For me just being out here playing on the European Tour was enough.  I've been loving the four events I've played so far and to just be a European Tour player was what I was happy with.  You know, to have won today, it sort of changes things a little bit.  Yeah, I'll go home, reflect a little bit on things and reassess.

For France’s Boutier the win will also be career and possibly life-changing. Now into her second season on the LPGA Tour after a solid first year when 61st on the money list in 2018, Boutier has won events on the Ladies European Tour but this victory elevates her to a new level.

A standout when attending Duke University in the US, the 25-year-old recovered from a shaky start to her final round when recording bogeys at two of her first three holes to finish with a round of 72 and win by two.

“It's amazing,” said Boutier. “It's been something I've been working towards since I turned pro and I just feel like it just happened ‑‑ I don't think I realise right now.  But no, I'm super excited with the way I handled myself.  It's not always easy to be able to get your first win.”

“I feel like I've struggled a bit all day with my long game and I just didn't have the many birdie opportunities.  Then on 15 when I made that putt, kind of really made me like motivate myself and made me really more confident in my abilities to win the tournament.”

Boutier wins US$165,000 for her win the total prize pool for both events the same.

Sharing second place in the women's event were Australians Sarah Kemp and Su Oh and England’s Charlotte Thomas.

Sarah Kemp

Kemp had set the cat amongst the pigeons early in the day when producing the round of the day (65) to set the mark for those out in the more demanding conditions later. In fact so far behind the leaders was she starting out the day that when she signed for her stunning round the leaders were still to tee off.

The round was made even more remarkable given she double bogeyed her first hole of the day.

Kemp would eventually produce her best ever finish on the LPGA Tour and given she has virtually no status to play that tour after playing the LET Tour in 2018 it will assist in her gaining more starts in the US.

A return to the LET in 2018 appears to have rekindled her desire and form and her final round was something very special.  

“It was a crazy day,” said Kemp.  “I pulled my tee shot off the first and ended up making double bogey, so it was kind of like, dammit.  I pulled it together really nicely, just stayed patient.  I don't think I made a birdie until maybe the 4th.  Honestly, I got to that where I couldn't remember how many birdies I had made.  I think I made four or five in a row and it just ‑‑ it just all came together.”

The event has set a template for expansion on the concept of women’s and men’s events being played concurrently and if the popular opinion of the players, spectators and organisers is anything to go by then there are surely more similar events are to follow.

      

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