Amy Boulden, like her peers, doesn't know when the Ladies European Tour will resume. So she's keeping match-fit with the 2020 Pro Tour and Justin Rose Ladies Series. NCG sat down with her
It’s been a testing year for the Ladies European Tour and its members. Just as things started to look up when a merger with the LPGA was confirmed, the pandemic struck with just three tournaments played.
It couldn’t have come at a worse time for Amy Boulden, the 2014 LET rookie of the year who had just regained her card after a season on the Symetra Tour thanks to victory at Q School in January.
Boulden played the Australia swing – the Australian Ladies Classic, where she missed the cut, followed by a tie for 19th at the Women’s NSW Open – but skipped the South African Women’s Open, which took place the same weekend the PGA Tour was suspended indefinitely at the Players Championship.
But things are looking up again. Boulden has been fine-tuning her game on the mixed-gender 2020 Pro Tour and will play the eight-event Justin Rose Ladies Series between now and the LET’s scheduled resumption date at the Ladies Scottish Open in mid-August, so she’s feeling a lot more optimistic about the coming months.
“We had a call with the CEO of the LET and we’ve been told we’re all going to keep our same status for next year,” the 26-year-old tells NCG. “We’re just not sure when we’re going to play again.
“The next event officially on the schedule is Scotland, that’s not yet been cancelled so fingers crossed it won’t be but I think it just depends nearer the time on the situation, on travel and restrictions like that. We’ll see, but we still don’t know where we’re going to play from August onwards. It’s going to be a difficult end to the year.
“But the LET schedule for next year, from what I’ve heard, is looking really strong. A lot of events have pulled out for this year, which is completely understandable, and they’ve made sure they’re going to sign for next season. So it looks really positive.”
For now, the Justin Rose Ladies Series will see players battle for places across seven events across the UK for a place in a two-day grand final. Rose himself is putting up £35,000 in prize money, a figure matched by title sponsor American Golf.
“It’s exciting,” Boulden says. “Especially with such a big name in the men’s game supporting the women’s game. Everyone is really thankful to have tournaments to play in the UK because we’ve not really been able to play on tour here for such a long time.
“It will attract a lot of good names. I know Charley [Hull] is going to play in a few, as is Bronte [Law].
“But I’ve enjoyed playing in these [2020 Pro Tour] events on a Monday to get back into it – especially now that tour has been announced, so I’ve been able to get ready for it. If I had turned up [at the first event] without having played any competitive rounds, I would have been really nervous and a bit worried about where my ball was going to go!”
The 2020 Pro Tour sets up so the women play a course 11 per cent shorter than the men. Boulden played at Cleckheaton, where she finished 3-over-par to finish in a tie for 61st, then was the leading female player a week later at Oulton Hall thanks to a 1-under 69. So how has she found that experience?
“Really good,” Boulden, who plays out of Curtis Cup venue Conwy in North Wales, says. “There are not many tours that allow both males and females to play and it’s quite difficult to make it fair – in the ones I’ve played I think they’ve got it right. If we’re too far forward then the guys aren’t going to be happy if we start shooting low scores, but if we’re going in [to the green] with similar clubs then that makes sense.
“Everyone I’ve played with has made me feel really welcome. I certainly don’t feel like they don’t want us here or anything like that.
“Sometimes it’s nice to have a mixture.”
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- Related: LET 2020 schedule
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