Golf: Carly Booth hopes to be ninth time lucky at Hero Women’s Indian Open

Gurugram, September 25, 2019

Scotland's Carly Booth is hoping that she will be ninth time lucky in the 2019 edition of the $ 500,000 Hero Women’s Indian Open (HWIO) Golf, which will tee off at the DLF Golf and Country Club here on October 3.
Currently No. 7 on the Ladies European Tour, the Scottish star  will be one of the leading lights at the tournament.
She hopes to follow the footsteps of Becky Morgan, who won the title here in her ninth appearance at HWIO  last year. Booth will be hoping that nine is her lucky number, too, as she has made eight previous visits to India for the flagship women’s golf event of the country. 
The HWIO celebrates its 10th anniversary on the Ladies European Tour and is now in its 13th staging. The tournament first began in 2007 with a purse of US $ 100,000 and it grew to US $ 300,000 when Hero took over the title sponsorship in 2010.
It is now worth half a million dollars, which is equivalent to approximately Rs. 3.6 crore. The winner takes home US $ 75,000, approximately Rs. 54 lakh.
The Indian challenge will be led by Diksha Dagar, winner of the South African Women’s Open. The other leading Indians are Tvesa Malik, Gauri Bishnoi, Ridhima Dilawari, Astha Madan, Smriti Mehra, Vani Kapoor, Amandeep Drall and Gursimar Badwal.
Some of the established international participants who have entered the field include the defending champion Becky Morgan, the 2017 winner Camille Chevalier, other leading names like Beth Allen and Becky Brewerton, both former LET Order of Merit winners and other LET winners including Meghan MacLaren, Marianne Skarpnord, Kanyalak Preedasuttijit, Astrid Vayson de Pradenne, Florentyna Parker and Linda Wessberg. 
However, the HWIO has not always been kind to Booth, as she has missed the cut the last five times from 2014 to 2018. She also came in 2010, 2011 and 2012 while 2013 has been the only edition she has missed in this decade. Her best at the event has been T-22 in 2012, which incidentally was the year when Carly won her first two Ladies European Tour titles.
Now she comes back to India again, but having ended that title drought this season with a win last month at the Tipsport Czech Ladies Open. She is in good form and will be among those to watch for at the DLF’s Gary Player-designed Black Knight course as she is also familiar with the course.
Booth turned professional after a stellar amateur career in 2010.  The ongoing season has seen something of a turnaround in her fortunes. Besides the Czech Ladies Open win, she has had three top-five finishes from 14 LET tournament.
She was fourth at the Canberra Classic in Australia, and has had two fifth places at the South African Women’s Open in March and the US Women’s Open Qualifier this May at Buckinghamshire.
The Manchester-based golfer said after her win at the Golf Resort Karlštejn, “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 (since her last win), so it’s a bit of a shock. Not knowing what the winning score was, I didn’t know anything about the leader board and I made a really solid par in the end.”
At the HWIO, Booth will have countrywoman Catriona Mathew for company. Mathew will be in India for the first time after successfully piloting Europe to a dramatic final-day last-match win over the United States at Gleneagles in Scotland three weeks ago.

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