SA disappointed in final round of Annika
Céline Boutier of Montrouge, France, walked away from the ANNIKA Invitational with her first U.S. win in only her second AJGA tournament. Boutier’s second-round 66 proved to be paramount in securing the victory.
The South African girls who had disappointing rounds, consoled themselves with Starbucks!
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the ANNIKA Invitational was a 54-hole stroke play event held at Reunion Resort, home of the ANNIKA Academy. The girls-only field played the par-72 Independence (Watson) Course at 6,275 yards. The 72-player field featured 25 Rolex Junior All-Americans and players from 15 states and 12 foreign countries.
Boutier’s second-round showing put her ahead by four strokes going into the last 18 holes of play. After a final-round front nine that included four consecutive bogeys, Boutier knew she had to refocus in order to conquer a windy back nine.
“I was very nervous because it was the last day,” said Boutier. “The first nine was very hard but I tried to do my best and after I parred No. 9, I did better on the back.”
An even-par performance on the final nine holes kept Boutier ahead of charging competitors. After a stray tee shot on No. 17, an eight-foot par putt completed a tough up-and-down giving her enough momentum going into the final hole to claim the victory.
Doris Chen of Bradenton, Fla., came within two shots but would get no closer, finishing alone in second place with a 1-under-par 215 tournament total. Alison Lee of Valencia, Calif., and Aurora Kan of Boothwyn, Pa., share a tie for second after posting even-par 216s, while Lake Oswego, Ore., resident Kendall Prince rounded out the top five with a tournament total of 1-over-par 217.
South Africa’s Lara Weinstein, tied ninth going into the final round, fell back in the field with a disappointing 81 and finished tied 34th on 227 (73, 73, 81).
Izel Pieters ended with a 82 but gained great experience both on and off the course and this will hold her in good stead for the future. She finished on 242 (84, 76, 82). Erica Lefson reports “ It has once again been a great tournament and the girls have been totally spoilt with information and tips from Annika. SA will get the invite again next year.”