After 64, Celine Boutier's confidence increasing with every birdie

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JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – Birdies are hard to come by at a major championship, but not for former Duke player Celine Boutier.

Boutier fired an 8-under 64 Friday at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and when she finished her round was the clubhouse leader at 7 under, a shot better than Swedish player Madelene Sagstrom.

The former Duke standout started her round on the back nine and carded four birdies and zero bogeys before making the turn. 

“My game is in place. I was able to hit my irons closer today, so I had a lot of closer putts. I was definitely worried yesterday because because I wasn’t hitting it as well,” said Boutier who shot a 1 over par on Thursday. Nelly Korda ended the day with the lead at 11 under par.

“I managed to find something in my swing that helped me today which definitely gave me some confidence for the weekend.”

KPMG Women’s PGA Championship: Full-field scores | Full coverage

An eagle on the par-4 sixth also helped build that confidence. The hole played 229 yards after the tees were moved up. Boutier hit her 3-wood onto the green and drained her 8-footer for eagle. She finished the round with only one bogey. 

Boutier is familiar with 8-under rounds, shooting a 64 last week at the LPGA Mediheal and finishing T-5. She’s also had close calls in majors, finishing T-5 at the 2019 U.S. Open and sixth at the 2019 British open. 

“Being in that position as much as you can definitely helps," she said, "so I hope I have learned from the past and try to make it a better result this week.”