At LPGA Qualifying Tournament Stage II, it was France’s Pauline Roussin-Bouchard who took home medalist honors, besting Chinese amateur Xiaowen Yin by a whopping five shots after firing a 7-under 65 in the final round. While that Sunday performance at Plantation Golf & Country Club was definitely confidence-boosting, it was a “no days off” mentality for Roussin-Bouchard who went right back to work on her game and her degree at the University of South Carolina.
Roussin-Bouchard recently spent a week in California both competing in the TaylorMade Pebble Beach Invitational and working with Brad Faxon, one of her two putting coaches. She comes to Magnolia Grove as one of the top players to watch over the course of the next two weeks.
“Obviously, the previous stage inspired me and I'm trying to keep some stuff, but it's a different week, different setup, different course, different conditions,” said Roussin-Bouchard. “To be able to go to Q-Series and then LPGA or Symetra Tour you have to first go through all the different stages, and Stage II was my first one. I wanted to stick to my game plan, stick to being me on the course, and I think it was key. I'm happy with the way I handled all that. I just had to keep playing a little bit because I don't like these long periods of time where you're not playing. I was luckily invited so I was really glad and honored to be able to go there.”
The 21-year-old turned professional in August 2021 and quickly had success on the Ladies European Tour, winning the Didriksons Skaftö Open after scores of 68-60-68 later that month. She carded two other top-10 finishes throughout the rest of the LET season: a tie for third at the Lacoste Ladies Open de France and a tie for seventh at the Aramco Team Series-New York. With an LPGA Tour card on the line and eight rounds of golf ahead of her, the seemingly serious Roussin-Bouchard is still focused on having fun and relishing the opportunity to further her career.
“I'm just trying to enjoy it as much as possible,” she said. “I'm very determined to get where I want to go, and I know why I'm here, so I guess then I can just be myself, be crazy and laugh a lot. I'm surrounded by people who laugh a lot. It helps being in a happy mood all the time. It's just different hats. You have the hat that when I practice, I'm serious, focused and I'm going to joke around, but it's just going to last a couple seconds just to be able to have a break in all these thoughts and all this process. That's the way I work. It's a balance between jokes and being serious and I've been used to doing that since I was pretty little so it's just natural.”