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Nov 20th, 2021

Celine Boutier out front at LPGA finale

Solheim Cup star takes four shot lead into the weekend in Florida

After a second-straight 65 at the CME Group Tour Championship, Celine Boutier took a four-stroke lead in Naples at fourteen-under. Her 130 becomes a career and tournament-best 36-hole score, as she holds the second-round lead for only the second time in her career. It’s the fourth time in 24 starts this season that Boutier has opened up with two straight rounds in the 60s.
Celine Boutier leads by four at the CME Group Tour Championship

Boutier started with a birdie on the 1st and notched seven more by day’s end. “I think I just have to keep doing what I've been doing. My long game has been really solid the past two days, so I hope I can keep it up for the next two. We'll see how the conditions also change on the course. I feel like it's playing a little bit drier today; definitely more windy,” said Boutier, who entered the week ranked fifth on Tour in strokes gained approach per round.
Boutier, who won her second Tour title at this year’s ShopRite LPGA Classic, sits ahead of three players in a tie for second at ten-under. Major champion Minjee Lee and Tour winner Gaby Lopez recorded four-under
Laser beam focus from Gaby Lopez

68s to join Mina Harigae at ten-under. Lopez posted four-straight rounds in the 60s at last week’s Pelican Women’s Championship for the first time since the 2019 Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic.
“Honestly, today my goal was just to hang in there, try to hit it somewhat close and put really good rolls on it,” said Harigae. “I'm happy with the way that my back nine ended up.”
Mina Harigae acknowledges the crowd on the 18th green

Four sit in a tie for fifth at nine-under, including 18-hole leader Jeongeun Lee6, who posted a Friday one-under 71 at Tiburon, and Rolex Rankings No. 1 Nelly Korda. “I think I can make more putts and I think my iron shots have been loose sometimes on a couple of holes here and there,” said Korda, who is one of five Americans in the top 10.
“You're not going to hit every shot great, so I think I've handled it pretty well. Hopefully I can give myself some better looks at birdies going into the weekend.”
One in the bunker, two out, three...

Defending champion Jin Young Ko and 2018 winner Lexi Thompson are two of four players fighting from six shots back heading into Saturday at eight-under. Ko needs a second place finish or better to have a chance at winning the Rolex Player of the Year award. She is battling lingering wrist pain, which she feels in her backswing, but is still enjoying her final event of a spectacular season.
“I don't have 100% confidence for my swing or whatever; just keep hit the ball straight, and just choose right club and right direction from the wind and read a break right,” said Ko. “Yeah, just enjoy. It's fun.”

TAGS: LPGA Tour, CME Group Tour Championship, Celine Boutier, Nelly Korda, Mina Harigae, 2021