Booth takes first professional title after play-off drama

Comrie’s Carly Booth, the former Curtis Cup player and past Scottish girls’ champion, secured her first victory as a professional in France on Saturday in the Dinard Ladies Open at Dinard Golf Club in Saint Briac sur Mer, Brittany.

The 19-year-old from Perthshire did it the hard way, making up six shots and seven places on overnight leader Marion Ricordeau to take the lead, only to three-putt the 18th for a closing round of two-under-par 67 in cold and windy conditions to tie on one-under-par 206 after earlier rounds of 69 and 70 had her placed just inside the top ten.

But Booth then beat the French player, who shot 66-67-73, with a birdie 3 on the same hole (the 18th), punching an eight-iron to within six feet of the flagstick and then downing the putt to win the sudden death play-off and a first prize of e3,430 (£2,830).

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“If I’d had a par on the last in regulation play I would have won it but I still did it in the end,” said Booth. “Of course I was delighted but I think it took a moment to sink in. I’ve been hitting it well the last few months so it’s nice to see it pay off.”

She hit a pitching wedge to five feet and holed the putt for her first birdie of the day at the par-four third hole, but was back to level for the front nine after missing the green and making a bogey at the ninth.

She birdied the 14th and 15th, sinking putts of 40 and eight feet respectively, before a scorer on the 16th hole informed her that she was lying in second place.

Booth then birdied the 17th after hitting a 56 degree wedge to 12 feet from the flag before drama on the 18th green. She covered the second nine in two-under-par 31, the kind of scoring that made her such a successful amateur from an early age, but has been sadly lacking since she turned pro in her teens.

It was third time lucky for Booth in play-offs, as she missed out at Ricoh Women’s British Open qualifying at Panmure last year and also at LET Final Qualifying School for the 2012 season at La Manga Club earlier this year.

“I am so happy and a little surprised as I struggled with my putting all week,” said Booth. “To be honest I’ve been playing really well but I was still not expecting to win. My main focus has been to enjoy it.”