TRANSCRIPT | Celine Boutier, 2020 Vic Open, pre-tournament press conference

KATHIE SHEARER:  Terrific to have you back returning again.  Great memories of the course and the area around here. CELINE BOUTIER:  Yes, always so nice to go back to where you have good memories, and for me, Barwon Heads and the Vic Open is a special event and special week for me personally because it’s […]

KATHIE SHEARER:  Terrific to have you back returning again.  Great memories of the course and the area around here.

CELINE BOUTIER:  Yes, always so nice to go back to where you have good memories, and for me, Barwon Heads and the Vic Open is a special event and special week for me personally because it’s my first win and it’s very exciting and special to come back.

KATHIE SHEARER:  Do you feel perhaps a little bit more pressure returning here this year?

CELINE BOUTIER:  You know, I didn’t think I would because I think it’s a fun thing to go back to where you have good memories, but since I came back, the volunteers and the people like started to recognize me and asking me questions, “Are you ready for this year and ready to defend?”  So that kind of made me realise maybe I do have a little bit more pressure.  But I think it’s a good thing, it means that I care and I want to do well, so I’m excited to start the tournament.

KATHIE SHEARER:  Can you tell us just a little bit about the past year, 2019?  

CELINE BOUTIER:  Yeah, it was definitely my best season on Tour.  It was definitely a break‑through season to get my win and then I accomplished a lot of my goals that year.  Being part of the Solheim Cup winning team was exceptional and definitely the highlight of my season. 

I also managed to play really well in majors, something I wanted to do and prove to myself.  So it was definitely a season that has been very successful and I hope to keep going on that.

KATHIE SHEARER:  That’s wonderful.  Any questions?

Q.  You seem very humble.  What’s it like when you drive through and see the big photo of yourself on the drive up to the clubhouse?

CELINE BOUTIER:  Yeah, it’s very strange, but I think they picked a good picture, so I’m pretty excited about it.  Obviously I don’t want to look at it too much because you can’t get too far ahead of yourself.  It was a great week last year, but I think every week is different, so I just try to take it as another week, another tournament and try to start from scratch.

Q.  So we don’t get to see you every week in person, but it would seem right now that you’re a bit better player now than you were this time last year.  Your results this year, already off to a good start and seeming more consistent.  Is that fair?

CELINE BOUTIER:  Yeah, I think after my win was definitely something that helped make mentally quite a bit and helped me settling in and kind of gain a little bit more confidence.  That’s I think the main difference that I have from last year.  I still feel like I can prove myself more and play better, but I don’t feel like I need to prove it to anyone else, just for me.  Obviously that’s showing on the course, I just feel more relaxed and I think a little bit more confident.

Q.  Is that true, living in the United States now, you’re more at ease than perhaps when you were first across from France?

CELINE BOUTIER:  Yeah.  I mean, I’ve been in America for a couple of years now because I went to college for four years and then decided to move there.  So that was definitely a big change and it was very strange for a while because I was just there by myself and didn’t know anyone.  It was very hard. 

But I think it was necessary for me to play my best and to be the golfer that I can be.  I’m very happy with that decision.  Professionally, I think it’s the best thing I could have done, and I definitely feel like seeing the results also helped me justify this decision.

It’s not always easy, but I think it’s worth it.  So I definitely feel better now that I have a little bit more, I don’t know how to say it, like distance from there.  No, I’m happy about being in America.

Q.  Do you travel with a team?  Do you have a caddie with you this time?  I think last year from memory you were basically on your own; is that true?

CELINE BOUTIER:  No, I have my own caddie, but I travel by myself most of the time.  Like you have your own caddie every week, but they book their travel on their own and you book your travel on your own, you’re not always together.  No, I have my caddie, it’s a different one this year, but most of the time I travel by myself.

Q.  And you work with Cameron McCormick? 

CELINE BOUTIER:  Um‑hmm, Australian, yeah.

Q.  (Inaudible) last year that you were able to take through the year, a lesson that perhaps you learned about winning?

CELINE BOUTIER:  Can you repeat the question?

Q.  Yeah.  In winning here last year, did you learn any one big thing that helped you moving forward through the rest of the year?

CELINE BOUTIER:  Yeah, just helped me confirm some ambition and beliefs that I had.  My first full year on Tour was in 2018 and I felt like I didn’t play my best.  I still managed to keep my card and stuff like that, but I knew I could do better. 

The fact that I got my first win ‑‑ I mean, it’s not easy to get a win on Tour, especially your first win can be pretty challenging.  The fact that I got it so early really proved to myself that I could do it and I wasn’t just like, you know, having goals that I couldn’t achieve or something like that.  And I think the good thing is I felt like I could even improve, I felt like I could do better things ‑‑ things better.  I think in that sense it helped me a lot just to feel more comfortable out here and feel like I can belong on Tour.

Q.  Is there anything about this course, in particular the wind that we seem to get here, that kind of suits your game?

CELINE BOUTIER:  Yeah, I think growing up in Europe we always had a couple of events every year in Ireland and England and Scotland or whatever, so we always practiced there for these tournaments.  And then I think personally my ball flight is like a pretty low one so it helps me in these conditions.  In general I think I like courses that are better ‑‑ that are tougher, so I think the wind making things tough is a little bit of ‑‑ not an advantage, but I like it better.

Q.  So you don’t mind if it blows this week?

CELINE BOUTIER:  I think it’s part of the fun.  It’s one of the unique things about the course and about here is like it always gets windy.  I think that’s also the way that the course is designed.  I think for me it’s a positive thing.

KATHIE SHEARER:  Do you come from a golfing family?

CELINE BOUTIER:  My dad is a golfer, yes.  Not my mom.

KATHIE SHEARER:  Does he ever travel with you?

CELINE BOUTIER:  Well, now they’re retired for a couple of years, so they try to travel more.  They come to the tournaments in Europe, so Evian, British and Scottish, and then last year they came to a couple of events in Asia.  It’s kind of whatever tournament they want to come to, they can pick and choose whatever ones they like or the destinations that they like, but it’s fun to have them also around a couple weeks a year.

Q.  Without the ropes out on the fairways here, Celine, you mentioned before that it’s a good familiar spot for you now and you’re being recognised a little bit more.  Do you think it’s going to be different for you this year with people recognising you and wanting to talk to you as you walk along, playing without the ropes?

CELINE BOUTIER:  I’m not sure.  I did hear that this year there were going to be ropes, but I didn’t see any. 

Yeah, I think it’s going to be very interesting because it’s fun to be recognised and to have interaction with people, but at the same time during the tournament you want to be kind of in your own, yeah, bubble sort of.  So it’s going to be interesting to try to manage everything. 

Obviously people coming and trying to talk to you is something you cannot predict or control, so it’s going to have to be something that you have to be prepared for and it’s going to be another thing that I have to manage.  But I think it’s going to be ‑‑ it’s a fun week.  I think all the spectators here are very respectful of the players.  It’s a huge part of why the event is successful even without like ropes and it’s still safe and fun for us to play because they are golfers and they respect us as players.  So I think it’s always good when you have that kind of environment.

Q.  And you mentioned goals a couple times.  Have you got a goal this week and what’s your goal for the season?

CELINE BOUTIER:  I mean, obviously I would love to defend my title, but more than that I just want to be able to be like fully ‑‑ like play my game like 100 percent and not try to get too ahead of myself and just try to be in the present as much as I can.  Obviously not putting too much pressure on myself, but, you know, another title would be nice, too.

KATHIE SHEARER:  Well, thank you, thank you for coming in.  We’ve thoroughly enjoyed speaking to you again.  Every success this week and you may well be here again on Sunday.

CELINE BOUTIER:  Thank you so much.

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