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Golf - 21. June 2012.

Booth on top of the Order of Merit: now for another win in Prague

Scotland’s Carly Booth will be full of confidence this week as she tees up in the Raiffeisenbank Prague Golf Masters at Albatross Golf Resort in the Czech Republic, starting on Friday.

Booth, who will celebrate her 20th birthday on Thursday, found a timely eagle on the fourth extra hole to earn a play-off victory at the Deutsche Bank Ladies Swiss Open on Sunday.

The third biggest golf tournament on the Ladies European Tour, it was the 19-year-old’s second win in six weeks coming after her breakthrough victory at the Ladies Scottish Open in May.

Booth moved to the top of the LET’s ISPS Handa Order of Merit with earnings of €124,000 and is now determined to keep the momentum going in Prague before playing in the lucrative Evian Masters next month in France.

“I’m looking forward to this week and I like the course which I played last year so hopefully I can have one more good finish before I have a few weeks off before Evian,” said Booth, who tied for 29th on the LET’s first visit to the Czech Republic last year.

“I’ll be ready for Friday. I’m just going to have a practice today and take it easy tomorrow and then Pro Am Thursday and I’ll be all-set,” she added.

“My goal was to get two wins before I turned 20 and I got that so to win this week as well would be pretty amazing so I’ll try my best and see what happens.”

Greig Stanfield, who caddied for Booth at The Curtis Cup when she was 15, will be taking over from Tano Goya as caddie this week.

Booth revealed that there was no time to celebrate on Sunday with an early flight from Milan on Monday morning, but perhaps there will be triple cause for celebration if she can keep it going.

Only six months ago, Booth was rueing her missed chances at LET Qualifying School having narrowly finished outside the top 30 places after losing out in a play-off.

However, after two victories in quick succession she now leads the order of merit, with a chance to become the first Scot to win it since Dale Reid in 1987.

“I just feel if I keep playing the way I’m playing now I don’t see why I can’t stay there so I’ll see how it goes,” she said.

Albatross Golf Resort should suit Booth perfectly, with her power game being a real advantage on the par-72 course, set up at 6376 yards, or 5830 metres, for the event.

She will be able to reach three of the four par fives in two, with only the 10th being the possible exception, while many of the par-fours, generally considered long for the ladies, should be mid-irons for Booth.

Frenchwoman Jade Schaeffer, another long-hitter, won the title last year, with a winning score of 13 under par over three rounds.

Schaeffer has returned to defend her title and is joined in the field by a number of prominent names including Laura Davies, Trish Johnson, Melissa Reid, Lee-Anne Pace, Becky Brewerton and Gwladys Nocera.

There are five of this year’s tournament winners in the field, with Line Vedel, Carlota Ciganda, Anne-Lise Caudal, Karen Lunn and Booth.

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