Liu, Boutier Share 54-hole Lead at U.S. Women’s Open

Celine Boutier
Celine Boutier hits her tee shot on the fifth hole during the third round of the U.S. Women's Open Championship at the Country Club of Charleston on June 01, 2019 in Charleston, South Carolina. Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

After three rounds of play at the Country Club of Charleston, Yu Liu and Celine Boutier share the U.S. Women’s Open lead at 7-under par.

The former Duke teammates, who won the 2014 NCAA Women’s Golf National Championship, will be paired together for Sunday’s final round.

Liu, a native of Beijing, finished her third day in Charleston, South Carolina with one bogey against six birdies, including a birdie at the difficult par-3 11th hole, en route a co-low round of 5-under 66.

If Liu coverts on Sunday, she would become the first Chinese to win a major golf championship.

“I think this is something that’s really out of my expectations because it’s only my first ever U.S. Open. I was just happy to make the cut and being able to play the weekends. But now it’s something that I didn’t really expect,” said Liu, who played in the final round of the 2019 Bank of Hope Founders Cup, where she bogeyed the final hole to drop out of a potential playoff.

“Definitely just trying to embrace the moment, playing with my great friend, possibly on the last group tomorrow. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Co-leader Boutier carded birdies at Nos. 5, 9 and 13 to pull two strokes clear of the field, but a bogey on No. 14 dropped her into a tie for the lead.

With a win, Boutier would join Catherine Lacoste (1967) as the only Frenchwomen to win the U.S. Women’s Open.

“Honestly, everything was going well. I feel like I was hitting the ball pretty good and pretty straight,” said Boutier, who now lives in Dallas. “Then when I was missing a couple of greens, my short game was there to save me. I feel like all around, my game was pretty solid.”

A trio of players were one off the pace, and tied for third, including Americans Lexi Thompson and Jaye Marie Green, who carded matching 68s, while 18- and 36-hole leader Mamiko Higa carded her second straight even-par 71.

Defending champion Ariya Jutanugarn shot a 69 to move up to T27 at 1-over par.

2019 U.S. Women’s Open

Top 5: Round 3

Pos-Player-To Par (Rd 3)
1. Yu Liu -7 (-5)
1. Celine Boutier -7 (-2)
3. Mamiko Higa -6 (E)
3. Jaye Marie Green -6 (-3)
3. Lexi Thompson -6 (-3)

Sunday’s Final Pairings

  • 2:20 pm: Celine Boutier, Yu Liu
  • 2:09 pm: Lexi Thompson, Jaye Marie Green
  • 1:58 pm: Mamiko Higa, Jeoung Lee6

Video: Round-3 Highlights

Quotable

“I don’t really mind either way. But I think when I played with her before, she was very focused and kind of in her own bubble. So I don’t think for her it matters as much. For me, I enjoy playing with her. But, I mean, I don’t think there’s going to be a lot of interaction. I’m not sure.

“The last time I played with her in a competitive round, we didn’t interact very much. She didn’t have a very good day, and I didn’t either. So maybe that’s why, but we’ll see.”
Celine Boutier (-7, T1), on playing with former teammate Yu Liu

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