Comrie’s Carly Booth confirmed her return from a seven-year struggle with her third Ladies European Tour title in the Tipsport Czech Ladies Open, a dual-ranking event with the LET Access Series.
Booth last won in 2012 – in successive events in the Scottish Open and in Switzerland – was in tears when told her final round 70 for a 54-hole, nine-under aggregate of 207 was enough to win by a stroke at Golf Resort Karlštejn.
Tied for the lead going into the final round, the 27-year-old survived a nervy start and a rollercoaster final round of seven birdies and five bogeys to eventually finish a stroke ahead of Finland’s Sanna Nuutinen, France’s Anais Meysonnier and English pair Charlotte Thompson and Hayley Davis.
She was however unaware she had the title until she asked the official LET photographer after completing her round who was on the leading score and got the reply “just you”.
“Have I just played golf, or been at Alton Towers? I never want to go on a rollercoaster again,” she said.
“I’m a little bit flabbergasted by the whole day. I played good golf and I really had to dig deep in the final round. I’m overwhelmed with happiness.
“It’s been seven years, so it’s a bit of a shock. Not knowing what the winning score was, I didn’t know anything about the leader board at the 18th and I made a really solid par in the end.
“It’s a country that I love to visit, I’ve had some great results here in the Czech Republic in Pro-Ams and to win the tournament means more than anything. After seven years, finally, to get another victory, it’s amazing.”
Booth started on seven under but put her opening tee shot out of bounds, going on to drop three shots in her first four holes.
However, she produced a gutsy fightback with brilliant birdies on the fifth, seventh and ninth holes, to make the turn in level par, regaining a share of the lead.
She took the outright advantage after hitting a 5-iron shot nto within six feet of the flag on the 11th for birdie and then chipping in on the long 13th, but that was not the end of the drama.
Two bogeys in successive holes dropped her out of the lead again, but birdies at 16 and 17 and a solid par at the last were enough to take the title.
“It was probably just as well I didn’t know what the situation was at the last there,” she said.
It’s been a restorative season for Booth despite struggles on and off the course in recent years. The young prodigy who was Scotland’s youngest ever club champion at 11 seemed set to become a huge talent when she won two titles at 20 but lost form and confidence.
This year her form had been better in early events, but she got widespread criticism for a tweet promoting Saudi Arabia’s “support” for women’s golf earlier in the summer.
Since then she’s let her golf do the talking, and a strong showing at the Aberdeen Standard Management Scottish Open just a couple of weeks ago suggested that her best form was on the way back.