British golf fans will have even more reason to be cheerful when talented Scot Carly Booth makes her championship debut at the Ricoh Women’s British Open this week.
After two wins on the Ladies European Tour this season Booth is not only the best of British but the best in Europe as she currently leads the order of merit.
The 20-year-old from Comrie in Perthshire obviously enjoys playing at home as she won the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open in May, before collecting the Deutsche Bank Ladies Swiss Open in June.
It bodes well as Hoylake will feel like a second home: mum Pauline was born there and dad Wally worked as a doorman at The Cavern when the Beatles were starting out.
Carly is also a Liverpool Football Club fan, although she doesn’t get to Anfield as often as she’d like.
After finishing 18th in Austria on Sunday, Carly flew in style to the British Open on a private jet with Melissa Reid, Linda Wessberg, Carlota Ciganda and Caroline Masson.
Now she can’t wait to tee it up in front of her ‘cousins, aunties and second family’.
“I’m really looking forward to it and it’s nice to have family there,” she said.
“It will be my first British Open so it’s just about gaining experience. We’ll see how it goes. I’ve played Hoylake maybe two or three times but it’s been a while, at least maybe two years.”
Carly is determined to keep the feel good factor going following the Olympics and a golden summer for British sport and hinted that some famous faces may be seen at Royal Liverpool, especially on Saturday, which has been designated ‘Best of British Day’, when everyone is being encouraged to wear red, white and blue.
There will be a diverse range of entertainment from a Beatles Tribute Band to a Queen look-alike. Organisers are keen to keep the Olympic party atmosphere going as they welcome the world’s best women golfers to the UK.
Britain’s all-time great Laura Davies, winner of the championship at Royal Birkdale in 1986, said that of all the titles in the world, this is the one she wants the most.
She said: “If I could choose to win one more tournament in my career, it would be this week, or any British Open, so I’m really looking forward to it. I’m playing well and I think I’m playing well enough to get myself in the mix on the weekend.”
It is the first time that Royal Liverpool – which will host the men’s Open again in 2014 - has hosted the women’s championship and Booth believes it will make a great venue.
Other Brits to look out for include Wales’ Lydia Hall, who earned her first professional win at the recent ISPS Handa Ladies British Masters, Royal Birkdale member Florentyna Parker, Felicity Johnson, Rebecca Hudson, Melissa Reid, who won in Prague this summer, Becky Morgan, 2009 winner Catriona Matthew and Karen Stupples, the 2004 champion.
They are not the only European stars likely to feature. Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall made an amazing comeback from injury to successfully defend the UNIQA Ladies Golf Open presented by Raiffeisen in Austria on Sunday and she said: “Of course if I can play well then I want to five it a try to win but we will see, it’s a different type of game, so we will take it day by day. I do have a good feeling coming there with a win, of course!”
Top Europeans Suzann Pettersen, Azahara Munoz, Sophie Gustafson, Caroline Masson, Anna Nordqvist, Dewi Claire Schreefel, Sandra Gal, Christel Boeljon, Diana Luna and Maria Hjorth will be among the competitors looking to whisk the trophy from World No. 1 Yani Tseng, who has won the last two years at Royal Birkdale and Carnoustie.
The 1993 champion at Woburn, Karen Lunn has recovered from a back injury in time to tee up and will join fellow European Tour members Carlota Ciganda, Lindsey Wright, Lee-Anne Pace and Anne-Lise Caudal who are all looking to continue successful seasons.
The Ricoh Women’s British Open is the final major championship of the year and will take place from September 13-16. Tickets can be purchased on the gate, while under-16s go free with an adult.
Click here to watch ‘Golfing Cribs – Carly Booth’ filmed by Golfing World at this year’s Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open, which she went on to win!