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August 7, 2019
North Berwick, Scotland
TOM BENBOW: Making your ninth appearance here this week, a former winner. What is it you love about this event?
CARLY BOOTH: Just nice to be home. We play once a year here in Scotland, and I have family come and watch. Obviously being my maiden victory in 2012, it's obviously going to be a special place in my heart.
TOM BENBOW: So you're one of four sponsor's invites this week from Aberdeen Standard Investments. How much does it mean to you to kind of get the opportunity?
CARLY BOOTH: It's an amazing privilege to be here. Funny enough, the year I won was the last time I had a sponsor's invite. So I won a sponsor's invite, so maybe it will happen again this year.
TOM BENBOW: You started the year off really well, a fourth, a fifth, a seventh and people trying to talk around the Solheim Cup potential year your home at Gleneagles. You might not be able to qualify automatically, but is that still in your mind with a victory here or an impressive performance?
CARLY BOOTH: It was the last two weeks. Unfortunately I missed the cut last week, which means all the pressure is on this week to play well. I'm still hopeful, but if not, I tried my best. There's always two years' time, too. Of course, with it being at Gleneagles this year, it would have been pretty amazing to play.
TOM BENBOW: Talk me through where your game is at. What is it you're doing better or different.
CARLY BOOTH: Well, this year, I changed coach and started working with Robert Rock, and that's kind of really helped me, not necessarily get my good golf better. It was kind of making my bad golf better.
So that's something that I've really improved on this year. It's still a work-in-progress. We're still working on some swing changes, but I'm just feeling a little bit more confident and feeling more positive over the golf ball, which I think is important.
TOM BENBOW: How did you hear about Robert Rock? Obviously I know he coaches a number of other women's player on the Tour and some on the men's side. Was it a recommendation or something you saw in one of the other players?
CARLY BOOTH: It was more so -- I've known him for many, many years, and it was just this year, actually, I was in Saudi during the men's event practicing, and I was just working on some, well, I actually don't know what I was working on to be honest. I was hitting a lot of golf balls trying to find my form going to Australia. He was just waiting for Thomas Bj√∂rn, actually, to come to the change, and just sat with me and gave me some nice and gave me a drill to work on. It really just went from there.
I used the drill he gave me in Saudi for most of my season so far, which a lot of people will know that I had this pause in my kind of takeaway. So that's the drill he gave me and I've been using it in my swing. It kind of worked. I haven't seen him too many times to be honest, but it's kind of ticking over and I still speak to him through WhatsApp or whatever if I need some advice or send him some swings.
TOM BENBOW: He does it on video, basically.
CARLY BOOTH: Yeah, I'll send him some swings and he might give me a little pointer here or there to focus on or work on but that's usually how it works. After this week, I think we have -- I have two more weeks, and then a couple weeks off before France, so hopefully I'll get to see him then.
TOM BENBOW: One last one from me. I've heard a lot of players saying the wind and rain is something they are not looking forward to or not used to playing in. Being a Scot, you've obviously played in this sort of weather before. Does it stress you out to be going out like that or do you enjoy it no matter what?
CARLY BOOTH: I'm going to enjoy the week no matter what to be honest. Wind and rain -- you get used to traveling abroad and being in the nice, sunny weather, but sometimes it's funny when you come and you have no choice to play in this kind of weather, it kind of brings back all the memories of your childhood or your previous Scottish Opens or British Opens, some of my best golf has been played in weather like this. I can only take it as a positive, apart from me.
Q. When you won in 2012, it looked as if your career was going to take off. What were your thoughts back then and anything you'd changed straight after that that maybe taken another path?
CARLY BOOTH: You know, the thing is with this industry, there's so many different coaches. There's so much different ways you can maybe say, oh, I should have done this or I could have done that, but at the time I did what I thought was best.
I also never practiced so hard as I did in 2013 and 2014, and they were my worst years. I mean, how does that work? I think a lot of it there is just in your head, really. So I think I just got myself into a better place of mind heading into 2015. Changed coach and I just started enjoying golf more.
I think because of working really hard, I just maybe lost the enjoyment of it a little bit. So I think it's about balance, really, for me.
Q. Feeling more confident in your game than in a long time, is that because of working with Robert Rock?
CARLY BOOTH: This season's gone well so far. There's a lot of things I want to improve and get better, but at least it's going in the right direction now. That's the main thing.
Q. Sorry to bring it up again. I spoke it to you briefly after the first round at the Women's Open?
CARLY BOOTH: Yeah.
Q. Was that kind of just a bad day at the office?
CARLY BOOTH: To be honest, I actually hit the ball really well during the week last week. A couple of my last shots that maybe weren't helpful, but generally I hit it well tee-to-green. I just putted terrible. I had like -- I was level par through nine in the final round feeling like I should have been at least about 3-under. I played with Caroline Masson, and I don't feel like she played any better than me tee-to-green, and she was 7-under going into the weekend. So it was just one of those things.
Going into the back nine, I had two 3-putts and a 4-putt. That really summed up the last nine holes for me.
Q. Looking a bit upset, was that the whole rigamarole?
CARLY BOOTH: It was one of those, I felt my game was good. I felt I was playing well, and when you want a good result, it's a bit deflating, isn't it, when you come off with 6-over.
Q. We touched on the Solheim Cup. You'll be there as an ambassador role?
CARLY BOOTH: I did some media stuff.
Q. If you win, you never know, but is that going to be something quite difficult, a huge event?
CARLY BOOTH: Well, it will be disappointing to not be involved, but at the same time, I feel I've done my little part to feel I've done some involvement with the tournament. It's a special tournament. It's something I still strive to make. If it's not this year, it's in two years' time. I was happy to have some kind of involvement.
But I'll still be cheering them on and hoping Europe will take that trophy at the end of that week.
Q. A bit of spotlight at Lydia Ko at the moment, going through a similar difficult time in her career. Can you relate, coming through as a child star in the spotlight early in your career; struggling a bit and people having an opinion?
CARLY BOOTH: It's hard. She's done so well. People forget that now. It's like we can't all be at the top of our game every week, so maybe she's going through -- I don't know what she's going through swing-wise or anything like that. But maybe she's going through some changes. There's a lot of things to it, pressure, and it just gets on top of you. Maybe she's just lost a bit of confidence and she's just going through this kind of spell at the moment.
But you know, she's a world-class player. She'll get it back. You've seen some of the best male players out there, they have a bit of a blip and they come back.
Q. We don't know what's going on in Lydia's life.
CARLY BOOTH: That's the thing, people don't know what goes on in their personal lives, and that I know from experience, that can really affect you on the golf course. If you're not in a happy place, how do you expect to be in a happy place on the golf course, too?
Q. Is it difficult to be in a happy place on Tour, even when you're away from home and everything?
CARLY BOOTH: Yeah, I mean, I've had my -- I'm away from the family all the time and traveling and I'm on my own a lot. I think that kind of takes its toll, but it's part of the job and you get used to it. But at the same time, I think if you were able to travel with family or friends or have someone close to you with you each week, I think that makes a huge difference and I know a few girls do have that and some don't, also. Some have it really well.
Q. Early on, did you have somebody traveling with you or did you go on your own? How would you have done things differently?
CARLY BOOTH: I've never really had family travel with me. I've generally always been on my own.
Q. Can you explain Robert's drill that's helping you?
CARLY BOOTH: Yeah, I was coming a little bit too inside the shot. So it was to get my path a bit better and my clubface more square. I mean, I'm actually not using it now, so it's something I've had to kind of like work on the last few weeks. I'm hitting a lot of golf balls.
I do feel my swing is now in a better place, but it was a drill, that I had to go through this phase. But unfortunately I started doing it before I'm about to go into a four-week stretch of tournaments. So when I started doing drills, and I'm hitting hundreds of balls doing it, I didn't know how to not do it anymore. So I just thought, I'm hitting it so well doing it, why bother not doing it. Simple as that, really.
Q. Would you encourage parents to bring kids along here the next four days?
CARLY BOOTH: Definitely. Even last week, I saw so many kids. It was so great to see so many girls and I hope the same this week. I hope to see lot of boys and girls around, really inspired by something some of the best players in the world play golf.
Q. You've been in the spotlight and in golf so long, do you still love the game as much as you did, like that video we saw where you eight?
CARLY BOOTH: Yeah, it's funny, when you look back, just don't have any thoughts, really. I'm only eight, no expectations. I just take a club and hit it. I don't really think about it back then.
Now it's different. It's your career. It's your life. You've got sponsors to try and play well for and fans, so I mean, all that kind of pressure is a bit -- the pressure's a bit different now than from when I'm eight years old.
Q. A lot of golfers, Rory McIlroy and people like that, say they like to play with that kind of freedom, that youth. It's easy to say that.
CARLY BOOTH: It's very easy to say. I've seen so many amazing amateur players go through that whole age 12 to 17, and then either they go to college, or they just stop playing. I feel like even though there's thousands and thousands of pros out there trying to make it or who have made it, there's still thousands and thousands that didn't, and had the potential and had the drive and they had the talent to do it. So I mean, that's sport for you. That's the same in all sports.
Q. Was there a point where you thought, it's too much, or was there always a drive?
CARLY BOOTH: I when I've had a bad round of golf, I thought, why do I do this, why do I put myself through this; but then two hours later, I'm like, I'd rather have a bad day doing that than do anything else. It's just all I want to do is play.
Q. There's a lot of excitement around women's sports in Scotland recently. Have you noticed the difference in the attitude towards women?
CARLY BOOTH: I think with obviously Solheim Cup coming out, we're really trying to get so many people more interacted and more involved and seeing golf. So that's something that we're doing with the media with the Solheim Cup and I'm doing with Scottish golf. It's just trying to get people involved in the sport.
I think with obviously Solheim Cup coming up, the great feedback we had from 2014 Commonwealth Games, that was a great week. So I'm hoping it's going to be a very similar kind of week to that with the feedback of the Solheim Cup, because it's the biggest thing we've got this year sporting-wise.
Q. What's the biggest thing for you, having family and friends come to watch?
CARLY BOOTH: Like I said, being my maiden victory, it's always a special one in my heart, and being in Scotland, the only tournament I play each year in my country, and having the support of friends and family is always amazing. Because you spend so much time abroad and away, you don't see faces that you know, so it's going to be nice to see some nice faces.
TOM BENBOW: Just one last one from me. The men's was obviously here three weeks ago. Did you manage to get down here? And second part of this question is, you obviously have been to men's events; is there someone you see on the men's side and see them doing something well on or off course that you can learn from?
CARLY BOOTH: I did not get to the men's event a few weeks back. I grew up with my brother and he was someone I looked up to growing up.
I think from conversations I've had with many different people, all the best players in the world, Dustin Johnson, Brooks, they all have their own kind of regimes or their own kind of ways they do about their weeks or their practice and things. That's the thing with golf. I think it's such an individual sport. Like there's not one way of doing anything. Like there's not one right way. There's so many different ways. I think it's very personal to you and what works. I just think, you know, watching the way Brooks is playing at the moment is pretty amazing. I watched him play when I was in Saudi and also in Abu Dhabi earlier this year, so I think he's someone that's really, really impressive.
TOM BENBOW: Thanks very much for joining us and best of luck this week.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports