Carly Booth excited to make playing return to Saudi Arabia

Carly Booth watched from outside the ropes when golfing history was made in Saudi Arabia just under two years ago and is now excited to be at the heart of another ground-breaking event in the kingdom.

Carly Booth chips with the Red Sea at her back at the 16th hole at Royal Greens in a practice round for the inaugural Aramco Saudi Ladies International. Picture: Tristan Jones
Carly Booth chips with the Red Sea at her back at the 16th hole at Royal Greens in a practice round for the inaugural Aramco Saudi Ladies International. Picture: Tristan Jones

The 28-year-old is among seven Scots teeing up in the inaugural Aramco Saudi Ladies International, which starts at Royal Greens in King Abdullah Economic City on Thursday.

Her last visit to the same venue on the Red Sea coast was as a guest for the first men’s Saudi International in 2018, won by Dustin Johnson.“I’m familiar with everything around here,” said the three-time LET winner. “It is so nice to see that they’re starting to make changes for women here in this country and getting them more enthusiastic about sports like golf.

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“It’s nice that Saudi is finally hosting a women’s tournament. I think we’re all very happy, especially during this time with COVID that we actually have a tournament to play and for great money, too. We’re all just very thankful to be here.”

Booth is flying the Saltire in the $1 million event along with Kylie Henry, Kelsey MacDonald, Michele Thomson, Alison Muirhead, Laura Murray and Heather MacRae.

“Everyone would like to finish the very short, small season we’ve had well,” she added. “It’s great to have this to keep us enthusiastic all the way to the end.

“Before last week in Dubai I hadn’t played a tournament since August, so my game was feeling a bit rusty last week.

“But I’ve been hitting it nicely so far this week so I’m feeling quite comfortable. I just have to go out there and enjoy myself and not put too much pressure on myself.”

This week’s event is being followed by the Saudi Ladies Team International, with Booth echoing her male counterparts in heaping praise on the venue.

“The course is in great shape. I played nine holes yesterday and the pro-am today. I really like it,” she said.

“It gets a little more interesting when the wind gets up, but that also makes me feel a bit cooler because it’s so hot! I’m really happy to be here and hoping for a good week.”

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