Carly Booth says that playing in Austria this week will be ideal preparation for next week’s Ricoh Women’s British Open.
The 20-year-old Scot is teeing up in the UNIQA Ladies Golf Open at Golfclub Fohrenwaldh in Wiener Neustadt, half an hour from Vienna, from Friday, to hone her game before taking it to Royal Liverpool for the final major championship of 2012.
Booth has had an incredible breakthrough year with two wins in Scotland and Switzerland and with season’s earnings of €145,430, currently leads the Ladies European Tour’s ISPS Handa Order of Merit by €10,000 over Caroline Masson, who recently won in South Africa, but she will need a strong finish in Austria to keep the German in second position.
Booth didn’t play in Austria last year, when Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall took the title with a three-round winning total of 204, 12 under par, however she played in 2010, when Laura Davies won the event for the third time. Hedwall, Davies and Masson are all part of the 108-woman line-up and will be amongst her greatest rivals.
On the 6243-yard, par-72 course, which is fairly wide and flat, set amid a pine forest, Booth commented: “I think it’s a great golf course. If the wind gets up it can be quite tricky but overall I think it’s going to be a great week and it has some great finishing holes.
“Of course you need to be straight but I think a low shot may be of use this week with the wind. There’s not a whole lot to it. My main focus is to hit fairways and greens and as long as I do that, I feel quite happy with the greens, so we’ll see how it goes and just one hole at a time.”
This event marks the beginning of a nine-week stretch for Booth as she travels the world playing in a number of tournaments, from Austria to Britain, to Tenerife, before a brief respite in Marbella is followed by appearances in France, Malaysia, Los Angeles and then possibly China and Taiwan.
She feels recharged after two weeks at home in Scotland, the first of which was spent watching her boyfriend Tano Goya compete in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.
A win for Booth in Austria would be the perfect fillip however for some of the other players, it would be even more important. A victory here for a non-exempt player would see them automatically qualify for the Ricoh Women’s British Open thereby avoiding the nerve-wracking final qualifier taking place at Caldy Golf Club on Monday.