The French Connection sweep up at prestigious tournament

The winnng team of Chloe Salort, Anais Meyssonier, and St Rule Trophy winner Pauline Roussin-Bouchard. Picture by Judy Aitken and words Colin Farquharson.
The winnng team of Chloe Salort, Anais Meyssonier, and St Rule Trophy winner Pauline Roussin-Bouchard. Picture by Judy Aitken and words Colin Farquharson.

Remember the name Pauline Roussin-Bouchard.

The 15-year-old from Valescure in southern France became the youngest ever winner of the prestigious St Rule Trophy at St Andrews with a 13-under-par total of 213.

Pauline was also the first French-born winner of a tournament which was first played in 1984.

French players have gone close, very close to winning at St Andrews in the past but never quite made it until Roussin-Bouchard showed them how at the weekend.

Eilidh Briggs (Kilmacolm) and local girl Lauren Whyte (St Regulus) tied for third place on 216, three behind the winner and two adrift of the runner-up.

The talented golfing girl from Valescure made almost all the running with rounds of 68 and 71 over the New Course on Saturday and a two-under-par 74 as a south-east wind rose in the afternoon and added a shot or two, maybe more, to the degree of difficulty of the Old Course’s inward half today.

Pauline won the European Young Masters last year at the age of 14 and has a string of successes in her home country and abroad.

“I have never been to St Andrews before but I had heard a lot about it and I have enjoyed coming to Scotland,” she said.

She is No 53 in the Women’s World Rankings and No 3 in the French women’s domestic rankings.

“I want to be a professional and I am going to be one as soon as I am 18,” said Roussin-Bouchard who also won the Lawson Trophy for the best performance by an Under-18 girl in the St Rule Trophy tournament.

In her final round, Pauline birdied the second, fourth, ninth and 13th.

She bogeyed the sixth and 12th in halves of 36 (two under) and 38 (level par).

Roussin-Bouchard led by two from compatriot Anais Meyssonnier after the Saturday rounds over the New Course and they both reached the turn on the Old Course in two-under-par 36.

On Sunday They matched each other’s pars at the last two holes with Meyssonnier finishing with a 73 (36-37) which included six birdies and three bogeys, and Roussin-Bouchard with a 74 (36-38) with four birdies and two bogeys.

It really was a great weekend for the teen, who also won the international team trophy by nine strokes from Scotland and England along with Meyssonnier and Chloe Salort.