Pauline Roussin-Bouchard grew up in France and golf was a staple in her life. The game has deep roots in her family.
“It’s a family sport. Like everybody's playing in my family: My parents, my brother, my grandmother, my auntie,” Roussin-Bouchard said. “Getting to play as a family during weekends and all that, so. That's how I got into golf.”
At six years old, she received her first lessons from a coach. As she continued to age, her game improved. She worked with multiple coaches and learned valuable lessons along the way.
“My second coach really taught me how to be able to practice a lot on my own and for a long time,” Roussin-Bouchard said. “I was like 9, 10, 11. I was like — He wouldn’t let me practice with music on, so I would practice on my own without music, and the structure that I would have and how everything was structured really helped me.”
Roussin-Bouchard’s organized and strategic personality mixed with this lesson from her coach to create a weapon for practice.
“She’s very organized, she’s always got a purpose to what she does at every moment in the day whether it’s her practice, her studies, her workouts,” women’s golf coach Kalen Anderson said.
Hard work at a young age caused Roussin-Bouchard to improve rapidly. This allowed her to travel Europe to participate in junior tournaments. Along with these tournaments, she played with the French National Team.
In 2016, she won the St. Rule Trophy, an award given to the winner of a 54-hole tournament in St. Andrews, Scotland.
“[St. Andrews is] where golf started," Roussin-Bouchard said. "It was a very, very nice tournament that I won. So, very memorable."
Throughout her amateur career, Roussin-Bouchard kept improving. She valued each tournament she participated in and prided herself on playing for her country.
“Every tournament that I’ve played with the French team, for the French team, you know, presenting my country all over Europe and many other places in the world was just, like, just amazing to do," Roussin-Bouchard said.
At 15, Roussin-Bouchard said her game really started to elevate. She caught the attention of many schools in the United States, but after a period of struggles, some schools began to lose interest.
In 2018 she narrowed her decision to two schools, Oklahoma State and South Carolina. She was amazed by USC’s environment and lifestyle.
“I dearly fell in love with the campus, with the life here, with the people, with the facility that we have for practice,” Roussin-Bouchard said. “I was just, 'wow,' just amazing. And I dearly loved it."
Roussin-Bouchard quickly adapted to college life and wasted no time in dominating the collegiate level as she did overseas.
In her first year as a Gamecock, she appeared in all six tournaments racking up accolades and shattering records along the way.
By the time her first year was done, she broke program records for the lowest freshman scoring average (71.27), the lowest 54-hole score for a freshman (205) and the lowest 18-hole freshman score (65). Her 71.27 average is the second-lowest in team history. She was also named a WGCA First Team All-American, Golfweek First Team All-American and First Team All-SEC.
“When she leaves here, I mean, she’ll own most of the individual records,” assistant coach Kevin Williams said.
Roussin-Bouchard carried her momentum from last season over to this season and broke even more records and gained new accolades.
She was crowned SEC champion in record-breaking fashion after scoring the lowest 54-hole score in the tournament’s history. She finished third in one of the top amateur tournaments in the world at Augusta National, losing her chance at the tournament playoff by one stroke. In that tournament, she set a record by sinking seven birdies in the final round.
Roussin-Bouchard approaches the game seriously, however, she takes time to have fun along the way, Anderson said.
“I want her to be the best player in the world, on the LPGA. I want to see her win and dominate the LPGA tour,” Anderson said.
When asked if she thought Roussin-Bouchard has the potential to reach that peak, Anderson said “I know she does.”