Roussin Bouchard takes the roundabout to glory

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Pauline Roussin Bouchard claimed her first pro win at the Skafto Open and dedicated it to her family in France. Photo: Tristan Jones/LET
Pauline Roussin Bouchard claimed her first pro win at the Skafto Open and dedicated it to her family in France. Photo: Tristan Jones/LET

Pauline Roussin Bouchard was the Didriksons Skafto Open champion after edging out a fiercely contested final day with Magdalena Simmermacher on the Swedish West coast.

Aditi Ashok finished T10 after shooting a final day score of 67 to finish 4-under 203. Vani Kapoor had a poor ending and shot a 74 to slip to T38 with a 6-over 213.

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Despite having a four-shot lead heading into Sunday, things were anything but straightforward for the Frenchwoman, with the Argentine pushing her all the way until the final hole in Sweden, as she secured a one-shot victory with a final score of -11.

 

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Roussin Bouchard claims the victory in just her second professional event, having ended life as an amateur only a fortnight ago, and celebrated the occasion in the best possible manner with a final round score of 68 (-1) enough to seal the deal.

“It was a little bit stressful to be honest, because I played great golf but the putts weren’t going in, and when you see other people making birdies ahead of you it was quite stressful,” Roussin Bouchard said.

“But I always say ‘it’s all about the finish’, and I made a birdie on the 17th so it definitely was all about the finish.

“I had three birdies on par-threes, I really learned to play them with this wind because it was pretty much the same everyday, so I knew how to play it on 17 and I just went for it.”

 

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With Roussin Bouchard dropping a shot on the first and the Argentine securing birdies on holes on and two, that four-stroke advantage started to diminish, and after Simmermacher picked up another two shots on five and six the lead was down to one after the front nine.

Another bogey from the former World Number One ranked amateur saw the two players locked on -9 with eight holes to play, before Simmermacher edged ahead with a birdie on the 16th.

 

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But the pivotal moment came on the penultimate hole, as the South American’s under-hit chip saw her settle for a bogey, while the 21-year-old rolled in a birdie to secure a two-shot swing and take a one-shot lead heading down the 18th.

And she kept her nerve to keep that lead intact on the final hole, as she secured her first professional victory at just the second time of asking, having finished fourth in the Four Winds Invitational on the Symetra Tour earlier in the month.

Even if the French talent was feeling the stress, she never seemed to show it on the course, as she was constantly in good spirits with her mum on the bag, and Roussin Bouchard was keen to make the most of the victory with her by her side.

“It was a special moment to share with her, especially now I’m studying in the US so I don’t see her that often,” she said.

This was a win for my mum, my brother, father and grandmother watching from home. I’m the one doing it but I couldn’t have done it without their support.”

Simmermacher finished tied for second spot with the impressive Linn Grant, who shot 62 (-7) on the final day to rocket up the rankings, and give her a top three finish in her first professional event.

The 2017 Ping Junior Solheim Cup player was in inspired form around the greens in Sunday’s action, as she didn’t drop a single shot all day, and ended the day with a fantastic birdie on the last which was met with rapturous applause from the onlooking gallery.

Grant picked up shots on holes three, six and nine on the way out, while another two birdies came her way on 10 and 15, before rolling in two more on the final two holes to cap off a memorable day for the 22-year-old as she finished as the higtwihest Swede in her home country.

“I had a really good day, it was a smooth day of golf. I wasn’t very nervous, I feel that every putt was makable,” Grant said.

“I wasn’t really thinking about winning today, I thought Pauline would shoot six-under or something, I had a good time just thinking about my own game and having a good day.”

LET

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