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Celine Boutier Claims Maybank Championship Title After Nine-Hole Play-Off

Celine Boutier Claims Maybank Championship Title After Nine-Hole Play-Off
(PA Images/Alamy)

Celine Boutier defeated Atthaya Thitikul on the ninth play-off hole to win the inaugural Maybank Championship in Kuala Lumpur.

The 29-year-old from France went head-to-head alongside Thailand’s Thitikul in what ended up being recorded as the joint-second longest play-off match-up in LPGA Tour history after both players ended the tournament on 21 under with Boutier finishing with a 8 under 64 and Thitikul a 68.

But it was Boutier who eventually came out on top after she sunk a six-foot birdie to claim her sixth career LPGA Tour triumph. This victory also means that she has become the first player to win four tournaments in 2023.

“Yeah, I didn’t expect it to be that long, to be honest,” Boutier said. “I was just trying to do my best each hole and each time I had an opportunity to have a playoff, and I feel like we were both very close to winning a few times, and I just feel like we just had to make a birdie, essentially.

“I knew she wasn’t going to make a mistake, so I had to go for it and give myself the best chances for birdies. I feel like she’s an amazing player, and so I feel like it was definitely nerve-racking, but I just feel very happy to have held on for that long.”

Despite losing the play-off Thitikul remained proud of her performance.

“It’s exhausting. It’s like – it’s pretty tiring, to be honest. But I think it’s the best playoff I ever had in my life. Even if I lose, but I feel like, we played so good,” she said.

“I feel a lot more confident with my game now. I fought really hard on the playoff, and both of us are hitting really great shots and it paid off. It just goes to someone who did it better.”

The next event on the LPGA Tour is the Toto Japan Classic taking place between 2-5 November at Taiheiyo Club Minori Course in Japan.