Celine Boutier holds a three-shot lead at the end of the third day of the FREED GROUP Women’s Scottish Open after firing a round of 66 (-6).
Report by the LET
Celine Boutier is looking to add to her first major title at last week’s Amundi Evian Championship, as she leads the FREED GROUP Women's Scottish Open after rolling in birdies on holes two, three, five and seven before dropping a shot on the ninth.
The Frenchwoman continued to impress with birdies on 12 and 14 followed by a bogey on 15 but she finished in style with back-to-back birdies on 17 and 18 for her round of six-under-par.
The Major champion sits at the top of the leaderboard on 13-under-par at Dundonald Links and is in search of back-to-back victories.
“I definitely feel like I’m hitting a lot of good shots, which is nice,” said Boutier, who was runner-up at this tournament in 2022.
“Sometimes you envision shots, and it doesn’t always happen. I feel like today a lot happened the way I saw it. It was very positive and I’m very happy with my round.
“I’m just trying to hit as many good shots as possible. Trying to stay focused and I feel like this course is pretty challenging with the weather conditions. I’m just trying to hit the best shots possible under the circumstances.
“When you’re playing well, it’s easier to be positive about it. I made a bogey on nine, which also fired me up a little bit. It was nice to get some more energy going. I’m just going to try to hopefully play the same and stick to my game plan and see what happens.
“I’ve definitely been playing well and the fact that I got a good result last week also is giving me a little bit of confidence. I’m just trying to build off of that, and hopefully have a good, solid round tomorrow.”
Tavatanakit and Stark in persuit
Three shots behind the leader are Thailand’s Patty Tavatanakit and Sweden’s Maja Stark with the duo on 10-under-par.
Tavatanakit had quite the scorecard with her only bogey coming at the first followed by eagles on the third and 14th holes as well as birdies on five, nine, and 12 for her own round of 66 (-6).
“It was just a good day, everything was solid. I made a lot of putts,” said the Thai star. “I just took it shot by shot and it just happened to turn out really well this week.
“I’m really having fun learning so far, and it is links so anything could happen. If you play well, you also need a bit of luck and it’s been helping me so far.
“I just want to have fun tomorrow and I’m not really thinking about anything and just go out there and play golf like I did today. It was really light, and it was really fun.”
It was a frustrating day for Stark who had a bogey on the fourth that was sandwiched between birdies on three and five.
The six-time LET winner rolled in back-to-back birdies on nine and 10 but then had bogeys on holes 11, 15 and 18 for an even-par round of 72.
“I just felt like I had a lot of good opportunities, but I just didn’t trust my irons today. I did stupid mistakes on my putting where I changed my mind when I was standing over the putt, and then I aimed somewhere else, and then I missed. It felt like such immature golf.
“I want revenge, and it is nice to have someone to chase that is not too far away. So, it’s good to be in the final group. Tomorrow, I think it’s just a “screw it” mentality because it’s the final day and you know where you’re standing. You’ve made the cut, and now it’s all about getting the win.
“I’m just going to maybe not be more aggressive than the other days, but just have a better mindset and knowing that I can shoot a low round is a big thing. It feels like Sundays are always better than Saturdays.”
The chasing pack
Sweden’s Madelene Sagström is in outright fourth place on nine-under-par after shooting a round of 68 (-4) on day three.
Denmark’s Nicole Broch Estrup is one shot further back in fifth place on eight-under-par after also firing a round of 68 (-4).
The LET winner had a very strong front nine with birdies on two, three, seven, and nine before she added further birdies on 11 and 14 with her only mistake of the day being a double bogey on 15.
Three players are in a share of sixth place with Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall, Australia’s Sarah Kemp and Japan’s Hinako Shibuno all on seven-under-par.
While four players are in a tie for ninth place with Japan’s Yuna Nishimura, China’s Ruoning Yin, Korea’s Hyo-Joo Kim and America’s Andrea Lee all on six-under-par.
The final round of the FREED GROUP Women’s Scottish Open begins at 7.05 am (local time) with the last group teeing off at 11.50 am. View the full leaderboard here.