England’s Georgia Hall claims first major title by winning Women’s British Open
The 22-year-old finished two shots ahead of Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum.
England’s Georgia Hall admitted it felt “too good to be true” after producing a brilliant final round to win her first major title in the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Royal Lytham.
Hall, who had never previously tasted victory on the Ladies European Tour or LPGA Tour, carded six birdies in a closing 67 to finish on 17 under par, two shots ahead of Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum.
The 22-year-old from Bournemouth is just the fifth British winner of a major and only the third home winner of this event since it achieved that status in 2001, following in the footsteps of Karen Stupples (2004) and Catriona Matthew (2009).
And fittingly she did so with her father Wayne acting as her caddie, the former two-handicapper having named his daughter in honour of Nick Faldo’s Masters triumph in Augusta, Georgia, in 1996.
Hall also fought back tears at the presentation ceremony as she dedicated the victory to her grandfather, saying: “There’s someone very special at home that’s going through a bad time so this is for you Grandad.”
Phatlum began the day with a one-shot lead over Hall and made a brilliant start with four birdies in the first six holes to double her advantage, even though Hall also birdied the first, fourth and sixth.
However, an errant drive on the eighth led to a bogey for the 28-year-old and Hall moved into a share of the lead thanks to a birdie from 10 feet on the 13th.
Both players birdied the par-five 15th after Hall’s eagle attempt from 15 feet caught the edge of the hole and stayed out, but it did not take long for Hall to get her nose in front thanks to another birdie on the next.
And when Phatlum found sand off the tee on the 17th and compounded the error by three-putting for a double bogey, Hall had the luxury of a three-shot lead and could easily afford her only bogey of the day on the 18th.
“It’s too good to be true really,” Hall told Sky Sports. “I don’t think it’s all sunk in for me. It was my goal when I was nine years old on the putting green: ‘This six-footer’s for the British Open’ and to actually have that – and luckily it was just a tap-in – I’m over the moon. I’m so happy.
Thank you Justin it means a lot 🎉 https://t.co/dvY0Hcs5a8— Georgia Hall ⛳️ (@georgiahall96) August 5, 2018
“I promised myself not to get ahead of myself and feel any emotions, which is sometimes hard because I wanted to take it all in. I was staying very calm and patient and it was very close up to the last two holes and I was just trying to hole the putts.
“So many people were behind me and supporting me. It was so nice to play in England in front of a home crowd.”
Hall, who finished third in the British Open last year, added: “Last year was a learning curve for me and I got so much experience in the British Open and the Solheim Cup and I learnt that I can play and compete against the best in the world. I was so confident coming into this event after last year.”
Sports Minister Tracey Crouch praised Hall’s performance, saying: “Congratulations to Georgia Hall on winning her first major in what was an incredible performance. Her victory is a great boost for women’s golf in Britain and I hope there are many more great things to come from her.”