SINGAPORE: France’s Pauline Roussin-Bouchard shot a closing eight-under-par 64 that included five birdies over a stretch of six holes to win her second Ladies European Tour title at the Aramco Team Series presented by Public Investment Fund-Singapore on Saturday (March 18).
The 22-year-old’s third and final round at Laguna National Golf Resort Club featured another three birdies, and was without blemish, as she held off the challenges of world number one Lydia Ko and major championship winner Danielle Kang to lift the trophy and take home a cheque for €70,713. She finished on 15-under 201.
Kang, who led the tournament early on in the last round, after starting in a share of the lead, finished runner-up, four shots off the pace, on 11-under 205, while Ko, who began the day with three straight birdies before fading in the middle of the round, was third, another shot back, on 10-under 206.
Ko had a solid final day, firing a six-under 66 that included seven birdies, but left herself with too much to do, while Kang was left to rue a costly bogey on No. 13, which stalled her momentum, and both of them could not match the form of Roussin-Bouchard.
The Aramco Team series ambassador, whose only previous Ladies European Tour (LET) win came at the Didriksons Skaftö Open in 2021, was delighted with the victory so early in her 2023 season and looks set for a decent campaign on both the LET and LPGA Tour.
Roussin-Bouchard said after her win: "It was pretty special. I think I was in a different zone than what I had been in before. Today was more chill, I really had fun and spent time with my boyfriend on the bag.
"I didn't realise I was making that many birdies. It was just happening. I had in mind the phrase that my coach said before the round, ‘don't get frustrated’ if you don't make every single putt.
"I think it was key today to be patient and just wait for them to drop. I was really focused on that and on laughing, and having fun with my boyfriend.
"I only realised what was really happening on the 18th tee box. We were waiting, and I was like, oh, my gosh!"
It’s no mean feat to successfully take on two of golf’s best players and beat them, Ko and Kang, and Roussin-Bouchard was aware of where they were on the leaderboard.
"I definitely saw them, and I knew they were there. I think it's because I know what they're capable of, and especially because I've been playing around them for the last year, that I'm just aware of it," she added.
"Then I talked with many different people, my boyfriend included, and we were just like, 'stay in the bubble and do you, be you. Don't pay attention to what people think. Just do your own thing'."
The Solheim Cup returns in September at Finca Cortesin, and Roussin-Bouchard will hope that history will repeat itself and she will get one over Kang again, if she is to play.
Roussin-Bouchard has the competition firmly in her sights and said: "It's on my mind for sure. What I would like to say is that I know it's here, and it's just going to be a reward for all the hard work that's been put in.
"It's not like I'm going to put pressure on myself by thinking about it, but I'm just going to use it as a big motivation towards every single tournament. It's just going to stay on that side of my mind."
The Aramco Team Series will head to West Palm Beach, Florida, next with the tournament taking place from May 19 to 21.