11 The Daily Telegraph Tuesday 22 September 2020 ** Hall eyes second major after first victory in US By James Corrigan Georgia Hall thinks the self-belief she gained from her first victory on American soil will stand her in good stead when she attempts to followup her 2018 AIG Women’s Open success with a second major win in two weeks’ time. Hall, 24, was tearful after beating South African Ashleigh Buhai on the second sudden-death hole at the Cambia Portland Classic in Oregon on Sunday night. Hall had started the final round four shots behind Mel Reid – her fellow Englishwoman who went on to finish in a tie for fifth – but fired a brilliant 68, albeit with a bogey on the last, to tie Buhai on 12 under par and from there grasp the £200,000 first prize. She was in tears afterwards, explaining what it meant to win again on a main tour after her glory at Lytham two years ago. “There was a lot of emotion, I just wanted to win again really badly, especially in America,” she said. “I’d never won over here. I find it easier, maybe, to win in Europe or Great Britain. “It was amazing winning my first major and then I had a kind of 50-50 year last year, where my first half wasn’t very good and my second half was good. So it’s just taking one tournament at a time and not really focusing on too much in the future. “But my goal this year was to win in America, and I’m really glad I’ve done that. I always knew it would maybe be harder, so for me to do it is a relief.” Hall, who moves up to world No31, is taking this week off before playing in next week’s ShopRite Classic in New Jersey, which leads into the season’s third major, the Women’s PGA at Aronimink, Pennsylvania. “There is definitely a lot of confidence that I can take into my next few events,” Hall said. “I know my game is in a very good place. I managed to kind of refigure myself after my bogey on the last to then get in a play-off, which was less than 10 minutes before I teed off again. This is my first actual play-off ever, so it was a bit strange. But, yeah, I’m glad I finished the job.” Revived Djokovic hails Masters triumph as ideal build-up to Paris tennis correspondent By Simon Briggs Earlier, Simona Halep had taken the women’s title in a final that was sadly diminished by a thigh injury to her opponent Karolina Pliskova. With the score standing at 6-0, 2-1 to Halep, Pliskova decided to abandon the match. “It’s not the way we want to finish a tournament,” Halep told Pliskova at the presentation ceremony. “But you played great this week. I wish you a fast recovery and good luck at the French Open.” Overcoming adversity has been Novak Djokovic’s trademark over the years, and yesterday’s Rome final was another example of his ability to summon up his best form when it is needed. Only a fortnight after his disqualification from the US Open, Djokovic scored a straight-sets win over Diego Schwartzman to lift his 36th Masters title. The Masters series is the next level below the grand slams, and no one has dominated it like Djokovic. He moved one title ahead of Rafael Nadal yesterday at the top of the alltime standings, with Roger Federer standing third on 28. Rome has been such a happy hunting ground that this was his fifth success at the Foro Italico, and it sets him up perfectly for the start of the French Open. “It was a great week, a very challenging week,” said Djokovic after his 7-5, 6-3 win. “I don’t think I played my best in the week, but I found my best tennis when I needed it most. That makes me very satisfied and proud. I managed to find the fifth gear when it was needed. “Now we move on to Paris, and I couldn’t ask for a better tournament here.” How big-hitting DeChambeau mastered the US Open When it comes to the PGA Tour, DeChambeau’s consistently top-ranked power is shown. His longest drive is 428 yards and for tournaments in the 2020 PGA Tour season, he is first for: Bryson DeChambeau was not the longest driver on average at the US Open but he did hit it further than any previous champion. He regularly failed to find the fairway but his strength out of the rough allowed him to make almost two-thirds of greens in regulation. His putting also held up under pressure. Average driving distance Drives of over 320 yards Fastest ball speed off tee Fastest club head speed Average carry distance Longest carry distance Yardage covered by tee shots 322.1yds 56.45% 197.6mph 137.1mph 314.1yds 400.1yds 67.88% Halep – who is the world No2 – will start as the favourite in Paris in the absence of world No1 Ashleigh Barty, who declined to travel from Australia to Europe to defend the title she won last year. Six players in the men’s and women’s qualifying draw for the French Open have been withdrawn due to Covid-19 concerns, organisers have said. Average driving distance 325.6yds 7th best, longest by a champion 23 out of 56, 41.07% Fairways hit 26th best This compensates for his inaccuracy, hitting 58% of fairways – 125th best – and likely to find the rough a third of the time, 165th worst on the Tour. Greens in regulation 46 of 72, 63.89% 5th best Putts per hole 1.6, 11th best
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