Isabelle Boineau uses mental game to break away from field

Mindset helps her break away from field at Guardian Retirement Championship

jdill@bradenton.comApril 28, 2013 

MANATEE -- Isabelle Boineau's swing was in a funk.

Things were going awry, so the French native and LPGA Symetra Tour rookie reverted back to one of the keys her coach has instructed on.

"We were working on the field of physics, like point 'A' so you always start fresh on the next shot," said Boineau, who hails from Marseille. "So you don't you think about how played yesterday or how you're going to play next. So it kind of kept me in the moment. … (And I was) just doing half swings and being connected. … I have a couple keys I keep for putting, chipping and long game, and if I am not doing well on the course I just think about those and fix it."

The move paid off as Boineau played steadier down the stretch in the second round of the $100,000 Guardian Retirement Championship at Sara Bay Country Club on Saturday.

Consequently, she's leading the tournament with one round remaining after 2-under

par 70 leaves her with a 6-under par 138 total and two shots clear of Christine Song.

"I don't think about winning," Boineau said. "I just think about doing my best (Sunday), and if I win, it's good. If I don't, it's fine as long as I do my best."

Boineau played her college golf at the University of Arizona, and tallied four victories during her time there. She's also a two-time French national champion.

In short, Boineau has the experience of finishing the job despite her status as a tour rookie.

And her skills aren't bad, either. On Saturday, Boineau hit 12 of 14 fairways, capitalizing on that accuracy with 13 greens in regulation.

She also needed 29 putts, converting seven one-putts on the sloping Donald Ross designed greens.

Aiding her putting prowess was a lesson she received earlier this week, where she switched to using more of her upper body in her putting stroke.

That change came on Monday, and Boineau has already reaped the benefits through two competitive rounds in Manatee County.

"I used to have such a hard time to control my lag putts, distance-wise," Boineau said. "When you use all your upper body, it's more consistent with lag putts and short putts."

Meanwhile, Song connected on more greens in regulation in Saturday's second round when she hit 12 compared to the nine she found on Friday. However, she couldn't generate much in the scoring department with one birdie to offset one bogey.

Song, though, didn't back up too much and sits in second place at 4-under par following her even-par 72.

She'll tee off in the last group on Sunday alongside Boineau. It'll be the second straight round the two will play together.

"It wasn't moving day," Song said. "It was just don't shoot over par day. It was more windy than (Friday) in the morning, and so it was either into the wind or with the wind. And when it was into the wind, it was really long."

The field was cut down to the low 70 scores and ties.

Local favorite Jaclyn Sweeney posted a 74 and is tied for sixth place. Other players with connections to the area that made the cut were Natalie Sheary (1-over par 145 total, tied for sixth place), Ginger Howard (5-over par 149, tied for 28th) and Victoria Tanco (7-over par 151, tied for 47th) advanced to Sunday's final round after being inside the cutline of 9-over par.

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