CME Group Tour Championship

Friday, November 19, 2021

Naples, Florida, USA

Tiburon Golf Club

Celine Boutier

Quick Quotes

Q. Celine, what changed there for you at the turn?

CELINE BOUTIER: Nothing much. I just feel like I was a little bit frustrated with my front. I just left a couple shots out there, so I was really good to get after it on the back.

My long game has been really solid all day and I was able to put, you know, my shots really close, and that was definitely helpful on the back nine.

Q. Just a continuation of the great play we've seen from you in recent months. Two worldwide wins in September and October. What's come together for you over the latter half of the year?

CELINE BOUTIER: I'm not sure. I feel like my game has been solid all year but I was just a little bit inconsistent with my putting. I feel like that's what was costing me early on in the season.

I just change my putter in September, and I feel like since then it's definitely gotten better. But also a lot of confidence coming from, you know, a great week at the Solheim and then winning in my home country and winning at the ShopRite obviously has been really helpful to get more comfortable out there, especially when you're in contention.

Q. Seeing the low scores, what will be your strategy over the weekend to maintain your spot atop the leaderboard?

CELINE BOUTIER: 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.

That's definitely going to be a factor as well.

Q. Celine Boutier, have yourself a day; 7-under 65 back-to-back. Eight birdies on the card. Looked absolutely unstoppable out there. Take us through some of your highlights.

CELINE BOUTIER: Yeah, I started pretty well with a birdie on 1, and then after that it was kind of a little bit of a struggle, I would say. Not a struggle, but I just feel like I left a couple shots out there.

Then I managed to get a birdie on 9 which kind of got me going. Then my long game has been solid all day and I was really able to put it close, especially in the back.

And then I just was able to make some putts, and, yeah, it was just a really solid day all around.

Q. Are you typically a wind player? It did get kind of windy out here at Tiburon. With a little bit of wetter conditions I'm sure the course was a little bit challenging today.

CELINE BOUTIER: It was playing very different than yesterday for sure. Definitely the wind was a huge factor in that. I actually enjoy the wind. Obviously depends on the intensity, but I feel like today was very manageable.

I feel like I was striking it well too, so definitely makes a difference when it's windy. I was able to take advantage of that today.

Q. When you're on, every iron shot looks like it's going in the hole. What is it about your game that you're able to dial it went in like that, particularly in windy conditions?

CELINE BOUTIER: Not so sure. I think something about tough courses makes me focus even more, and then I was just really confident with my iron game. I think I was kind of in the zone, to be honest. I just didn't overthink it. Just picked a number and then just was able to do it.

So not really sure.

Q. Last night at the Rolex dinner Annika Sorenstam was very open and honest about how bashful and shy she was when she first started winning. It was a real detriment in the beginning, and she overcame that. You were very shy when you first came out. Are you over that now? Are you to the point where you're much more comfortable in this setting?

CELINE BOUTIER: Yeah, I mean, I'm still the same person. I just feel like I've definitely learned to open up a little more. I feel like the language barrier is also not helpful in my situation. Obviously in Annika's too.

No, I just feel like at the end of the day I'm playing for myself and not anybody else. That's what I've kind of learned to do, not to worry so much about other people's opinions and stuff like that.

I think that's been major for me.

Q. Second half of the season has been very impressive for you. You mentioned it's the best you've ever played. What work did you do within your game to have it be so good recently?

CELINE BOUTIER: There wasn't really anything in particular that I changed or really was a difference maker. I just feel like I've been hitting solid all season long, and then maybe a little bit more consistency in my short game has definitely helped.

But honestly I'm not sure what's been really the difference maker between the years past and this year. I just feel like I've just kept working on whatever weaknesses I felt like I have from week to week and then it's just paying off.

Q. Any weaknesses you found last week coming into this week that you worked on?

CELINE BOUTIER: Yeah. I was really frustrated with my last round, last two rounds last week. I just feel like my long game was there, and I wasn't really able to capitalize on that on the weekend.

So I definitely was trying to be more focused on my short game this week. And then I just feel like because the greens are playing a bit softer and everything, it's helping my game because it's easier to stop it.

So I just feel like, I don't know, everything is going well so far.

Q. Is there anything short game practice that you did running up to this event?

CELINE BOUTIER: Not really. Just have to keep working on my stroke. And I feel like the speed has been really similar from last week, so it wasn't too bad to adjust on that part.

Q. Have you been in a position like this where you got a 4-shot lead with two rounds to go, and what's your mindset?

CELINE BOUTIER: My mindset is the same. One thing I learned being in that position is that it really doesn't mean much right now. Anything can happen. There is a lot of golf still left.

So I'm just going to try to keep doing the same thing tomorrow and the same thing Sunday.

Q. You mentioned you were in a zone. How do you capture and try to carry that over for the next two rounds?

CELINE BOUTIER: Hopefully I get a little bit of confidence from today so I'm able to -- I think one thing that's been a little bit of a struggle for me is sometimes when I get nervous I get tense and I start to overthink and controlling my shots.

So I feel like hopefully I get a bit more confidence from today and I'm able to play a little bit more relaxed tomorrow and over the weekend.

Q. Last question from me: It's been a big year for you playing the Solheim, two worldwide wins. What have you learned most about yourself?

CELINE BOUTIER: Honestly, probably getting that win at home and at the ShopRite has been major. Obviously winning and playing at home is never easy, and then being able to get that second win for me at ShopRite that was two and a half years after my first win was definitely helpful for my confidence.

You never know. Maybe the first time was luck. You kind of want to confirm. So it's been very huge for my confidence, and I just feel like a little bit more comfortable in this situation now.

Q. Both Minjee and Gaby talked about how challenging it is to find confidence out here on the tour, despite both of them also being past winners. What are the challenges to find that even after your first win?

CELINE BOUTIER: What are the challenges?

Q. To find that confidence even when you have won before.

CELINE BOUTIER: Yes, I think the big thing for me was just focusing on myself rather than other people. It's really easy to just compare yourself to other people and just start watching them.

That's something that's been a bit of a struggle for me, especially when I had like big pairings or I was playing with Jin Young Ko or whoever I felt like was a great player, which there are a lot out there.

And then you just start watching them and forget about your own game. I think it's been really major for me to just focus on myself. I mean, it's always a struggle still now, but I try to do it a little bit better.

Q. What steps have you tried to take to do that better?

CELINE BOUTIER: Just not trying to watch them so much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
114917-1-1041 2021-11-19 23:09:00 GMT

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