Celine Boutier with the Australian Ladies Classic - Bonville trophy in front of the golf resort's iconic clubhouse. ALPG Ladies European Tour 25 February 2018 Photo: Tristan Jones/LET
Celine Boutier with the Australian Ladies Classic - Bonville trophy in front of the golf resort's iconic clubhouse. ALPG Ladies European Tour 25 February 2018 Photo: Tristan Jones/LET Tristan Jones

Boutier the boss of Bonville

7.45PM: France's Céline Boutier won the inaugural Australian Ladies Classic Bonville and kept calm despite a weather-interrupted final round.

The 24-year-old shot a final round of 73 to finish on 10-under-par, two shots ahead of Katie Burnett from the United States.

It was Boutier's second Ladies European Tour title following her win last year in the Sanya Ladies Open and her fourth in total.

She virtually assured herself of the title with an equal-course record 67 on Saturday which gave her a five-stroke lead heading into the last round at Bonville Golf Resort and she thanked her caddie Shane Codd for keeping her equipment dry.

This morning play teed off in beautiful, sunny conditions and the Boutier began with two birdies and a bogey in her first seven holes. She kept her five-stroke advantage through the turn before Katie Burnett birdied the 10th hole to get within four strokes.

Then, at 2pm local time, dramatic tropical storms moved through the area forcing the suspension of play for three and three-quarter hours.

When the sun did come out again, the course drained exceptionally quickly, allowing the leaders to return to the par-4 13th at 5.45pm local time.

After the break, Boutier played her third shot just beyond the green and two putted for a bogey, reducing her lead to three strokes.

Both Boutier and Burnett bogeyed the 15th and the American missed the chance to reduce the deficit further when she missed a her curling four-footer at the 17th.

At the final hole, Boutier pushed her drive into the trees and decided to lay-up, while Burnett launched a perfect drive down the middle of the fairway. Boutier struck her third shot to within eight feet of the flag, but her birdie putt turned just below the hole and she tapped in for a par and a 10-under-par total. Burnett, meanwhile, took two putts for a birdie on the final hole.

"It feels great. I really enjoyed playing at Bonville Golf Resort and I'm proud of how I handled the weather conditions," Boutier said.

"We had a little bit of everything with a delay in the middle of the round, so it wasn't too easy to get back into the rhythm, but I'm pleased that we finished.

"I was a bit nervous, because I wanted to finish before dark and it's not always easy when you go back out after a delay; it was definitely tough. I had two bogeys after we went back out, but I did my best. I feel like I managed it pretty well."

Playing with Boutier, Burnett was three-under-par after 10 holes, but she ended with a 69 for a total of eight-under-par.

Iceland's Valdis Thora Jonsdottir (70) ended one stroke back in outright third position,ahead of Sweden's Daniela Holmqvist (71) while the halfway leader Holly Clyburn from England shared fifth place with Denmark's Nanna Koerstz Madsen.

Rebecca Artis was the leading Australian was tied for seventh with Americsan Casey Danielson while Western Australian Hannah Green tied for ninth with Charlotte Thompson from England.

The Ladies European Tour and Australian Ladies Professional Golf Tour now move to the Coffs Harbour Golf Club for the Women's NSW Open which tees off on Thursday.

5PM: THE incredible drying powers in the fairways and greens at Bonville Golf Resort will see play in the final round resume at 5.45pm.

It's a situation that only three hours earlier seemed an impossibility.

A thunderstorm hit Bonville Golf Resort at about 2pm and it left huge puddles of water on the fairways and greens that left many thinking there would be no more play for the day.

A viewpoint shared only by those with no appreciation of the drainage systems at the picturesque layout.

When play resumes French player Celine Boutier will enjoy a four stroke lead over American Katie Burnett with a group of four players a further three shots back.

Boutier, Burnett and early tournament leader Holly Clyburn are the final group and will start again on the uphill 13th hole.

The final round of the Australian Ladies Classic was suspended due to a thunderstorm and heavy downpour at Bonville Golf Resort.
The final round of the Australian Ladies Classic was suspended due to a thunderstorm and heavy downpour at Bonville Golf Resort. Brad Greenshields

EARLIER - 3PM: A SEVERE thunderstorm that had players running for cover has seen play in the final round of the Australian Ladies Classic - Bonville suspended.

Rain continued to fall at Bonville Golf Resort for the best part of an hour but the quick drying course has left officials waiting to see if play can continue later in the afternoon.

There wasn't much time needed for the final round in Australia's newest professional tournament to finish.

When the downpour hit at about 2pm the final group of the day which included tournament leader Celine Boutier, Katie Burnett and Holly Clyburn were approaching the 13th green.

The torrential rain and nearby lightning storm were in direct contrast to the bright sunshine players enjoyed during a very humid morning.

When the siren sounded to suspend play, Boutier held a four stroke lead over Burnett with Clyburn a further three strokes back in a tie for third with Daniela Holmqvist, Valdis Thora Jonsdottir and Nanna Madsen.

Hannah Green was the leading Australian in the field in seventh position a stroke behind that group.

Tournament leader Celine Boutier talking with the media after play in the final round of the Australian Ladies Classic was suspended due to a thunderstorm and heavy downpour at Bonville Golf Resort with the final group on the course approaching the 13th green. ALPG Ladies European Tour 25 February 2018 Photo: Brad Greenshields/Coffs Coast Advocate
Tournament leader Celine Boutier talking with the media after play in the final round of the Australian Ladies Classic was suspended due to a thunderstorm and heavy downpour at Bonville Golf Resort. Brad Greenshields

Boutier said the rain, thunder and lightning appeared rather quickly after enjoying most of the round in the sun.

"Right before it was suspended it was pretty horrible, it was pouring down but it kind of came all of a sudden," the Frenchwoman said.

"Before that it was actually pretty nice, very sunny, not too windy so it was really good but the rain came in really fast."

The 24 year-old said she was unsure what plans officials had as to whether or not the rest of the round would be played later in the day.

"I feel like we've had quite a bit of rain yesterday and even the day before and the course has been handling it pretty well but I'm not sure if it's going to dry fast enough because the greens and the fairways are definitley flooded," she said.

"I feel like if we're getting more rain for the next couple of hours I don't think we're going to return but I don't know what they're going to decide."

If play does resume, Boutier said the changed condition of the course will definitely be a challenge.

"I'm honestly just going to do my best but I think the main thing is I'm going to have to adapt as fast as possible to the new conditions," she said.

"I'm pretty sure the greens are not going to roll the same and even on the faiways it's going to stop pretty fast. I think just adapting to the conditions is going to be crucial."