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Booth eyes more success in Zaragoza
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                                                          Carly Booth

Carly Booth, who claimed her maiden victory as a professional at the Dinard Ladies Open in France on Saturday, is hoping to continue her rich vein of form with a second victory at the Banesto Tour Zaragoza event in Spain this week.

The tournament, taking place at Club de Golf La Peñaza from Thursday 19th to Saturday 21st April, is making its debut on the LET Access Series schedule and Booth is looking to make it two wins out of as many appearances on the LET’s developmental tour this year.

“I’m feeling confident and looking forward to it,” said 19-year-old Booth, from Comrie in Perthshire, who flew back home to Scotland on Sunday. “After my win, I was only home for seven hours and then back to the airport but if I have two wins then I’ll definitely celebrate!”

On arriving at the course on the outskirts of the city of Zaragoza, in north-eastern Spain, Booth was surprised at the strength of the breeze and added: “It’s very, very, very windy. I like the wind but this is extremely windy! It’s quite cold but the course looks good.”

Booth is playing in these two events in order to prepare for the 2012 Ladies European Tour, which resumes with the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open presented by EventScotland in early May.

On the LET, she holds the first card in category 9B, for positions 31-50 from Qualifying School, which means that she will be playing in most of the tournaments.

She said: “I’m just playing in these two LETAS events to fill the gap because I’ll have a pretty full schedule on the LET.”

Should she have a chance to challenge for the LETAS order of merit title, then she may play in a few events later in the season, but said: “It just depends how I do on the actual tour this year.”

Booth is among a strong field of 87 players from 21 different countries competing for a prize fund of €20,000.

There are 18 Spanish players, including 14 professionals and four amateurs. The professionals include Carlota Ciganda, who claimed her maiden professional victory at the Murcia Ladies Open at La Manga Club on the 2011 LET Access Series.

The 21-year-old from Pamplona finished second on her professional debut at the Tenerife Ladies Match Play event in July last season and has since played in a number of LET events on invitations and as a rookie member this season.

Ciganda was the Spanish champion in all categories as well as the 2007 British Amateur Champion and the 2004 and 2008 European champion.

She is joined by fellow Spanish professionals Raquel Carriedo, Tania Elósegui, Ana Belén Sánchez, Mireia Prat, Itziar Elguezábal, María Beautell, Mariana Macías, Virginia Espejo, Ana Larrañeta, Patricia Lobato, María Martín, Judith Chaves and Marian Jiménez. The amateur players are María Parrón, Blanca Maicas, Alejandra Pérez de Yraolagoitia and Silvia Bañón.

Frenchwoman Marion Ricordeau, the current LETAS order of merit leader, is among the international competitors. Ricordeau won the Banesto Tour de Los Balagares in 2011 and claimed her maiden LETAS title at the Terre Blanche Ladies Open in France in March, one month ago. After leading the first two rounds of the Dinard Ladies Open last week, she eventually lost in the play-off to Booth.

She is joined by the 2011 LETAS order of merit winner Marieke Nivard from the Netherlands and the Italian Alessandra Averna, won on her profesional debut on the Banesto Tour this season at el Parador Málaga Golf.

The par 72 Club de Golf La Peñaza was designed by Mr FW Hawtree and opened in 1973. The greens were re-designed by IGD (Jose Maria Olazabal) in 1999.

The course’s main defence is the prevailing northerly wind, known as the ‘cierzo’ which makes the course challenging to even elite players. The official website describes the course as a true "oasis in the desert."

 

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