Along with Catriona Matthew, Carly Booth is one of only two Scottish players in the field at the Ricoh Women’s British Open.
Booth qualified through a play-off at Kingsbarns on Monday and is also one of only two players to have come all the way through the pre-qualifying stage.
In effect, this was her third play-off success, since she won both the Dinard Ladies Open on the Access Series and the Deutsche Bank Ladies Swiss Open on the LET in extra time last year.
She is thrilled to be teeing up in the season’s fourth major on The Old Course at St. Andrews and hopes to benefit from home advantage.
“I love it. Such a great golf course and great! The first is the widest golf course hole you'll ever play and it's the most nervous shot you'll ever hit. But I've played this course many times,” said Booth, a two-time winner on the Ladies European Tour, who has also won an additional tournament on the LET Access Series.
“We had the Curtis Cup here in 2008, and I played a number of St Rule Trophy events. It's a great golf course and it's great to be back playing here and looking forward to it.
“The very last time I played here, I came second in St Rule, so that was good. I think one of the first times playing there at this golf course, I actually shot 7‑under, so that was a good first memory. I have lot of good memories to take from this, and obviously I think the tees are not much different to how we played at Curtis Cup, so I have experience from that.”
In a press conference on Wednesday, Booth described the Final Qualifying experience: “I teed off at 9.50, finished ten to 3.00, and had to wait from then until about 6.30, quarter to 7.00. I think about quarter to 7.00 was about the time I teed off and played the 10th hole, the first one. There was 12 of us, so we went off and I guess three of us made birdies on the first hole. So that was it for me.”
She said that the experience of playing in last year’s Ricoh Women’s British Open should help her performance at St. Andrews, as she admitted to feeling nervous at this year’s US Women’s Open.
“The nerves definitely got the best of me in the first nine holes. But at least with the British Open, I had my first experience last year at Royal Liverpool, so I at least experienced this tournament once before. But I definitely think it's going to make me stronger this week than going into the U.S. Open.”
Despite a slow start to the 2013 season, she said: “I think for me, it's just building a confidence back up and working on clarity mostly with my golf game and focusing on targets and really just trusting my golf swing. It's not changed at all since last year, so there's in reason to not be doing as good as last year. So just working on clarity and really believing that I'm good enough to be here and that I can score really low and just play positively, so that's what I'm going to try and do this week.”
Carly on her ESPN Photo Shoot
Booth was also asked about her recent nude photo shoot for ‘ESPN: The Body Issue’ and why she decided to pose for the American magazine.
“Actually I got asked roughly this time last year during the British at Royal Liverpool. It did take me a while to decide if it was something I wanted to do or not,” she explained. “Then I looked into it more and saw the type of athletes that had already done it and how well they actually do it, and I thought it was actually a great honour to be asked. Then I guess I decided that, yeah, why not, something different, and then not long before I came out, I realised that Gary Player was doing it, which I thought was really great!”
When asked what her dad, Wallace, thought about the pictures, she replied: “Well, he's like, oh, I didn't realize you had another tattoo. (Laughter) I think the one on my foot was the one I've had the longest, and obviously for a long time, I was not going anywhere without socks on in the house. And I think he saw it a few times and said, what's that on your foot? I'm like, it's a sticker, and I'm sure he believed that for about two years!”
She revealed that the message in her pictured tattoo reads: "It's not in the stars to hold our destiny, but in ourselves." It's Shakespeare and she chose it herself!