RICOH WOMEN’S BRITISH OPEN
WINNING SCORE: 17-under-par 271. DEFEATED: Pornanong Phatlum by two shots. DEFINING MOMENTS: Playing alongside Phatlum in the final group on Sunday, Hall drew level with the Thai after the opening hole. Her birdie at the par-3 tied Phatlum’s 13-under total.
But the overnight leader instantly replied, with a birdie of her own at the second hole that was one of four in five holes that regained, and then extended, her lead over Hall to two shots. And with the fancied penultimate group of So Yeon Ryu and Sung Hyun Park playing themselves out of contention, the tournament became a battle between two, Phatlum once again leading by a solitary stroke with nine holes remaining.
Having traded birdies for much of the front nine, it was Englishwoman Hall who rose to the occasion on the back side buoyed by the local support at Royal Lytham & St Annes. Three birdies in four holes starting at the 13th earnt her a one-shot lead with two holes to play, which suddenly became three when Phatlum double bogied the 17th.
With victory all but assured, Hall made a bogey of her own at the 72nd hole to sign for a 67 and her maiden major title. WITH THIS VICTORY… : • Hall’s first major title is also the first LPGA and Ladies European Tour victory of her burgeoning career, and lifts her inside the top-10 in the world rankings for the first time. • The 22-year-old becomes the first Englishwoman to win the Women’s British Open since Karen Stupples captured the title at Sunningdale in 2004 and the first European winner since Solheim Cup Captain Catriona Matthew was victorious at Lytham in 2009. • Hall’s victory earns her a place in the history books as the first ever player to win the Girls’ British Open Amateur, Ladies British Open Amateur and Ricoh Women’s British Open.
“I ALWAYS JOKED TO MYSELF, BECAUSE I NEVER REALLY – I HAVEN’T REALLY WON A TOURNAMENT SINCE I TURNED PRO, THAT THE FIRST ONE I WIN WOULD BE A MAJOR.” – GEORGIA HALL