How Ash Barty became Cam Smith’s good luck charm at the British Open – as Wimbledon champ makes statement that will shatter her fans
- Barty retired from tennis at 25 after winning Wimbledon and the Aussie Open
- She has been spending a lot of time on golf courses including St Andrews
- Barty was there to support the Aussies at the British Open including Smith
- She was the perfect good luck charm, but also has bad news about a potential pro golf career, saying that her professional sports days are over for good
Ash Barty knows a thing or two about making history in the UK.
The former tennis champion broke a 41-year-old drought last year to become the first Australian woman to lift the Wimbledon singles trophy since her idol and mentor Evonne Goolagong’s victory in 1980.
And she was in Cam Smith’s corner at St Andrews on the weekend when the 28-year-old recorded the equal-lowest score of all-time including five birdies on the back nine to seal a sensational win at the British Open.
Barty was in Scotland after receiving an invitation to play in a celebrity foursome at the famous course ahead of the the 150th Open.
She lined up with former English Test player Kevin Pietersen, lead singer of British pop band The Vamps Bradley Simpson and American actress Kathryn Newton.
Following that hit-out on the famed fairways of St Andrews, Barty stuck around to support Smith and the other Aussies competing in the PGA major.
She was photographed with Smith, Adam Scott and Marc Leishman, and turned out to be a good luck charm for Smith as he secured a famous victory.
‘I love my golf,’ she said ahead of The Open.
Bradley Simpson, Kevin Pietersen, Ash Barty and Kathryn Newton pose with the Claret Jug
‘It’s a hobby, it’s something that I love to play, especially with my friends. Get out and enjoy some beautiful courses all around the world.
‘But certainly not something that I want to take too seriously, this is fun.
‘I love it and it’s always been a hobby of mine so it’s nice to get to experience some really cool things like this today.’
There have been plenty of rumours that professional golf will be Barty’s next venture – and there’s some bad news for her fans on that score.
Asked directly if she will be taking up professional golf after pro careers in both tennis and cricket, Barty told Melbourne’s 101.9 The Fox with Fifi, Fev & Nick that her professional sporting days were finished.
Barty sends a drive down the fairway at St Andrews as part of the celebrity foursome event
‘My decision was the same, I knew that was my last Australian Open and, in a way it freed me up to be more myself that I could have ever been in my life and just play completely with no consequence. Go out there and enjoy it and play with real freedom.
‘You guys just can’t accept that I don’t want to play professional sport anymore.
‘I love golf, it’s a hobby of mine. It will not be my profession, I have no intention of making it my profession, but I hack around once a week if I can.
‘There’s no need, there’s no desire for me to play professional sport, particularly golf.’