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Friday, July 18, 2008

Carly's smile says it all. She's still standing as Scottish Under-18 girls' champion (image by Cal Carson Golf Agency, all rights reserved). You can enlarge the images by clicking on them.
Carly Booth champion girl
again - and she still has
two more years to go!

Perthshire prodigy Carly Booth is Scottish Under-18 girls’ match-play champion for the second year in a row.
The 16-year-old Curtis Cup and Junior Ryder Cup player from Comrie retained her native junior title by beating Scottish schoolgirls champion and fellow Scotland international Kelsey MacDonald, 17-year-old Nairn Dunbar member, by 4 and 3 in the 18-hole final at Alyth Golf Club today.
Carly is young enough to play in the Scottish girls championship for two more years and could emulate the four titles in a row feat achieved by only one player in the tournament’s 48-year history, Vikki Laing (Musselburgh) between 1996 and 1999.
It might well be, of course, that Carly will become a professional before her 18th birthday. Although 18 is the minimum age to become a member of the Ladies European Tour, there is at least one precedent for an "under-age" players to be admitted.
Amy Yang was a 16-year-old amateur (16 years, 9 months, 18 days to be precise) when she won the 2006 ANZ Ladies Masters. She subsquently applied to the LET for special dispensation to turn pro and play on the ciruit.
Permission was granted and Amy became a tour pro and the LET's youngest member on October 10, 2006, by which time she was two months and a week or two past her 17th birthday.
Both Carly and Kelsey agreed they were not quite on song in the final. Apart from tiredness, wet conditions underfoot and overhead contributed to that. The greens had become much slower than either player likes. So they holed fewer putts of consequence than they did with regularity in the earlier rounds.
“I was very tired at the start of the week after the European girls’ team championship at Murcar Links, but felt stronger by midweek, only to have a cold and sore throat for the final,” said Carly.
“Neither of us played great golf in the final but obviously I am delighted to be Scottish girls champion for another year.”
Kelsey, who did not win a hole until the 12th, felt that landing in bunkers at the sixth, eighth, 10th and 11th made it difficult for her to put Carly under any pressure.
“I did win a couple of holes after the turn to get it back to three down but it was too late.”
Carly Booth, who had been a combined seven under par in winning her quarter-final and semi-final ties on Thursday, was an approximate two over par against Kelsey for the 15 holes the final lasted. Discounting a double-bogey 5 at the short 14th, Booth would have been level par.
Carly went one up at the fourth and doubled her lead at the eighth before stepping up a gear to produce winning birdies at the eighth, 10th and 11th. That gave her a commanding five-hole lead.
Kelsey won back the 12th and 14th before Carly holed a 10ft putt at the 15th for a 4 and 3 win. It was Carly’s fourth birdie in the space of eight holes.
*Having just returned from the R&A Junior Open at Hesketh where rounds were apt to take around 5hr 30min to 5hr 45min, what a pleasure to see the Scottish girls' championship final played and the prizegiving ceremony over ... all within THREE HOURS of the match starting at 9am. Terrific! Keep it up girls.

Final – C Booth (Comrie) bt K MacDonald (Nairn Dunbar) 4 and 3.

+Picture shows Kelsey MacDonald, Carly Booth and Isla Craigie (Torwoodlee) who won the Ansley Reid Salver on Thursday for the second time in three years.