Georgia Hall Sees Her Dreams Come Spectacularly True at Royal Lytham
GEORGIA HALL wrote a piece of golfing history for herself when she became only the third home golfer to win the Women’s British Open since it became a major championship in 2001. She went into the final round at Royal Lytham trailing Pornanong Phatlum by a shot and did not hit the front until the 16th hole, eventually going on to win the tournament by two shots.
The 22-year-old Englishwoman came close to winning the same title at Kingsbarns 12 months ago and was determined to do better this time around.
Hall finished on 17 under, having picked up five shots on the final day. Her bogey on the last hole was her first of the round, and she dropped just three shots in the whole tournament - an astonishing achievement on such a difficult links course. Phatlum was her nearest challenger, with Korean Ryu So-yeon third another two shots adrift.
Phatlum extended her lead to two strokes with four birdies in the first six holes but Hall made three of her own to remain in contention. When Phatlum drove into the thick rough and could only pitch out sideways at the eighth it cost her a dropped stroke and they went to the ninth hole with Hall one behind. Both players went out in 32.
The key stretch came when Hall made three birdies in four holes beginning at the 13th and took a one-stroke lead when she rolled in a 20-foot birdie putt at the 16th.
Phatlum, who missed only 11 fairways all week, sealed her fate when she drove into a bunker on the 17th hole and made a double bogey, giving Hall a three-stroke advantage going to the closing hole.
?? My dreams come true ?? pic.twitter.com/aHoBuNRjEc— Georgia Hall ?? (@georgiahall96) August 5, 2018
Hall said: "It is too good to be true. It was my goal when I was nine to win the British Open. I am so happy. I just had to stay calm and patient. It was very close up to the last two holes and I holed all the putts today.
"It is so nice to have so much support - we do not get much in America but at home in England... it is so nice to play here. I was loving it deep down, hitting the shots under pressure. To get six birdies in the final round of a major is not bad.
"I can't believe how many of you fans came out to support me, I am so grateful. I would like to thank my dad for caddying and keeping me company, as well as my mum for doing everything for me growing up."
Hall, from Bournemouth, joined Phatlum at the top of the leaderboard after the 13th, and holed a 20ft putt on the 16th to take the lead for the first time. Victory meant the 2013 British ladies' amateur champion, who now spends most of her time playing in America on the LPGA Tour, emulated compatriot Karen Stupples (2004) and Scot Catriona Matthew (2009), the other two British winners since this event became a major.
Of the other British participants, England's Bronte Law finished tied 39th on level par, Matthew was a shot worse off in tied 42nd, and Wales' Lydia Hall ended in tied 55th on six over.
This was Hall’s first LPGA Your victory, as she closed with a 67 to finish at 17-under par 271, two strokes ahead of Phatlum and two strokes shy of the tournament scoring record set by Karen Stupples in 2004.
“I always joked that a major would be my first win,” Hall said. “I can’t believe it really happened. I played well today; I putted great.” Her short game was the key to her victory. Hall averaged 28 putts per round and was seven-for-seven in sand saves.
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