Boutier grabs share of clubhouse lead at rain-hit Drive On Championship

(Reuters) - France's Celine Boutier carded four birdies to grab a share of the second-round clubhouse lead at the LPGA's inaugural Drive On Championship in Toledo, Ohio on Saturday.

Starting on the back nine, Boutier took the lead after gaining two strokes in her opening five holes in wet conditions at Inverness Club.

The 26-year-old lost momentum with two bogeys on her back nine but recovered with a closing birdie to move up to five-under overall alongside England's Jodi Ewart Shadoff, who carded a level-par score.

Boutier believes her experience of playing in difficult conditions on the Ladies European Tour came in handy as she delivered some crucial par saves to stay in contention in the LPGA's first tournament since February.

"I feel like I can handle tough weather conditions pretty well," Boutier, who has recorded three top-10 finishes in four LPGA events this year, said. "Like in Europe it's not always great weather, and I played in Britain quite a bit.

"It's a good challenge and I think especially on this course you have to be very, very smart.

"I didn't hit the ball as well as yesterday, but I had some good par saves. Hopefully I can get my game ready for tomorrow."

Japanese rookie Yui Kawamoto was two strokes behind the leaders after signing for a 71, while American Sarah Burnham remained at two-under after a 72.

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)

08/01/2020 20:23

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