Exclusive interview with Amy BouldenJune, 2015
Mark Townsend meets the highly promising Welsh youngster
What is it like to have the World No. 1 who is four years younger than you?
It’s amazing. I played with her at the Astor Trophy when we were amateurs in 2011 and she was awesome then.
Even then she was very mature for her age, she was quite quiet but is coming into her own now. You wouldn’t think she was 13 at the time. She is in the spotlight so much now but is obviously thriving under that.
It’s great to see someone as young as her at the top as it pushes us all on. Her pitching and short game was incredible even then and on Tour that is so important when the pressure is on.
How did you know when to turn pro or whether to do the college thing in the States?
I worked with Nigel Edwards and the Wales coach was Jeremy Dale and I said to them that I was thinking about going to college in the States. I wasn’t interested in going back to school but one pull was the weather though, at the same time, I didn’t want to leave my coach as well.
But there was the opportunity to practise in Dubai in the winter and the season started early anyway as amateurs so it didn’t make sense for me.
I was just 20 but felt like that was the right time. I didn’t really know a lot of the girls I was playing amateur golf with and thought it was time to move on.
How easy is it to get sponsorship as a rookie on the LET?
Elite Cymru helped me throughout my amateur career and the better you did the more funding you would get.
Last year I didn’t have a sponsor on Tour except for the help of Elite Cymru. It was tough but sponsors come in when you play well. It does cost a lot and you get taxed a lot from the countries we are in but prize money is on the up.
Do you set goals each year?
At the back of my mind was the Rookie of Year though you are not thinking that at every event. I won on the Access Series in May and that gave me the confidence that I could compete as a professional, then to lead the qualifying for the US Open kickstarted things.
There was probably more pressure towards the last half of the year to win the Rookie of the Year. I don’t really feel pressure, the only time I do is when I am in contention, but generally I am more relaxed.
My goal is to be able to put myself in contention on tour and to be able to get my first win, to get myself in a real pressure situation and see how I cope.
I am really enjoying the tour this year. I know all the girls really well and feel comfortable playing out there. I don’t feel anyone is too much better than me, which is important. Then the target is the LPGA Q School at the end of the year.
Is there an intimidation factor to play on the LPGA Tour?
There is a different feel to it, the players earn more money so they can afford to take managers and family/boyfriends with them but the tour has the best players in the world so I want to be a part of it.
At the US Open I was still a bit star-struck as you would want to watch all the big names hit balls.
The LET is a very close tour. Everyone is good friends and we don’t earn as much money so we all have to room together.
No-one minds sharing with anyone.
Do you have a regular caddy?
Not at the moment, I have had a few different ones and really clicked with one. It is hard as you get offers but you don’t want them for just one week.
It averages quite a bit for the week and I hate the bartering part of what they are getting paid so it would be great to sort one for the season.
I have had some bad ones and good ones and have had great weeks but not got on.