Georgia Hall has secured her first major title in the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Royal Lytham and St Annes Golf Club.
She becomes the fifth British winner of a women’s Major, following Laura Davies (four), Alison Nicholas (one), Karen Stupples (one) and Catriona Matthew (one): an incredible achievement.
❤️ My dreams come true ❤️ pic.twitter.com/aHoBuNRjEc
— Georgia Hall ⛳️ (@georgiahall96) August 5, 2018
There was hardly a dry eye in sight as Hall tapped in to complete her two stroke victory, on 17-under-par, before her father and caddie, Wayne, lifted her into the air, with her mother, Samantha and her boyfriend, Harry, beside the green.
At the prize giving, Hall shed a tear herself as she said, “There’s someone at home who’s in a bad way: this one’s for you, granddad.”
The 22-year-old from Bournemouth becomes just the third British winner of the event since it became a major in 2001, following Karen Stupples in 2004 and Catriona Matthew, in 2009.
She’s done it!
— Ricoh Women’s British Open (@RICOHWomensBrit) August 5, 2018
Hall, the 2017 Ladies European Tour Order of Merit winner and Players’ Player of the Year, began the final round one stroke behind Pornanong Phatlum, but the Brit was the clear crowd favourite.
Thousands of people cheered as she made the perfect start: a birdie on the par-3 first hole, to tie for the lead with the 28-year-old from Thailand.
Phatlum came straight back with a birdie on the second, but both players birdied the third. Phatlum then birdied the fifth to gain a two-stroke advantage, before both players birdied the sixth hole.
However, Phatlum drove into the long grass on the eighth and took three to reach the green, resulting in her second bogey of the championship. Hall was a stroke back after eight holes, where she remained after making a solid sand save on the short ninth hole.
It became a two woman race on the back nine, although So Yeon Ryu of South Korea closed the gap and posted the clubhouse target at 13-under after a final round of 70.
The 13th was a key hole, where Hall made birdie from 10 feet, taking her to 16-under and into a share of the lead.
At the 14th, there were gasps from the crowd as Hall hit her second shot into the trap short right of the green and faced a treacherous shot, but she was magic from the sand and made a six footer to save par.
On par-5 15th, which she had birdied in each of the previous three rounds, Hall leaked her tee shot left but breathed a sigh of relief when it came up short of the bunker and she had a shot at the green in two, setting herself up for an eagle putt, which came up a fraction short, seeing her tap in to match Phatlum’s birdie.
At the 16th, Hall missed the fairway, but fizzed her iron to the heart of the green, leaving herself a 25 footer, which she made for a second consecutive birdie to take a one stroke lead with two to play.
Then, on 17, Phatlum’s tee shot ran into a fairway bunker and she was forced to play out to the fairway, taking three shots to reach the green, before three putting for a double bogey.
After Hall’s 20-footer for birdie came up just short on the 17th, she was able to tap in for a simple par and took a three stroke lead to the 18th tee.
At the last, Hall’s tee shot ended in the first cut on the left, but she found the putting surface with her trusty 3-iron, allowing her to enjoy the walk up to the 18th green.
Phatlum’s second shot found the bunker, but she made a great save and signed for a 70, to finish on 15-under-par. Hall played a conservative approach, which stopped 12 feet short of the target and her effort to save par ended just short of the hole, meaning she closed with a tap-in bogey, her only blemish in a final round of 67, but it didn’t matter in the slightest.
With the trophy ceremony done and dusted, Hall’s work continued in the media centre. As she left the tent, she was greeted by a small army of children all chanting her name. What a moment. What an inspiration. It doesn’t get better than this, but it is just the start for our young major champion.