European number one Georgia Hall is heading to the Australian capital in February to compete in the 2018 ActewAGL Canberra Classic which will be held at Royal Canberra Golf Club.
Hall captured the world’s headlines in 2016 by winning the Oates Vic Open after having had an outstanding amateur career and the 21-year-old English star has taken the step up to the next level in 2017 with ease, winning more than double the prize money of second-placed Carlota Ciganda to take the Ladies European Tour Order of Merit title.
Hall was also the LET Players’ Player of the year as voted on by her peers, and the former Curtis Cup star also competed in her first Solheim Cup where she performed admirably for Europe against the might of the USA.
She finished tied third in the Ricoh Women’s British Open, her best ever finish in a Major Championship, and also performed admirably in her first outing at the Evian Championship, finishing in a tie for 10th place.
The quiet and unassuming Englishwomen is looking forward to returning to Australia in 2018 and will no doubt be one of the players to beat at Royal Canberra in February.
Also committed to play the ActewAGL Canberra Classic are fellow LET Solheim Cup stars Melissa Reid from England and Swede Caroline Hedwall. Reid is another who clearly enjoys playing down under and will return with fond memories having won the 2017 Oates Victorian Open in a playoff against German star Sandra Gal.
The 30-year-old, who is a six-time winner on the Ladies European Tour and has represented Team Europe three times in The Solheim Cup, will be another great drawcard for the tournament, her aggressive style of play always making her a favourite for galleries wherever she plays.
Reid is also one of the most popular players on tour and has battled more than her share of adversity in recent years. In May 2012, Reid’s mother, Joy, was killed in a car accident near Munich during the week of the Ladies German Open. Reid quickly returned to competition and in a fairy-tail ending, took out the 2012 Raiffeisenbank Prague Golf Masters less than a month after her mother’s death.
However, her performances would decline rapidly in the ensuing years and in September 2015, Reid told ESPN: “I was a mess… I wasn’t coping, I was rebelling. I was spending time with people who partied. I was hitting the self-destruct button. I was with a lot of people, but I was lonely.”
She has since re-dedicated herself to her game and spent the majority of the 2017 season playing full time on the US LPGA Tour.
Caroline Hedwall spent much of 2017 recovering from surgery but the talented 28-year-old will be hoping to get back into the winner’s circle early in 2018. A five-time winner on the Ladies European Tour, Hedwall was the heroine of the first European Solheim Cup victory on US soil in 2013, in doing so becoming the first player in Solheim Cup history on either team to win five points from as many matches.
Hedwall is another who has a solid track record playing in Australia, where she claimed her first professional title in 2011 at the Bing Lee NSW Women’s Open, a title she also won again in 2013. Hall, Reid and Hedwall will join a star-studded field which includes Australians Katherine Kirk and Sarah-Jane Smith, former world number ones Jiyai Shin and Laura Davies, along with The 2019 European Solheim Cup Captain and former British Open champion Catriona Matthew.
The ActewAGL Canberra Classic will be played at Royal Canberra Golf Club from February 9-11, 2018 and will be an official co-sanctioned tournament between the Australian Ladies Professional Golf (ALPG) and the Ladies European Tours.