Rookie Hall becomes rare Englishwoman to win British Open
Winning her first major title on home soil seemed too good to be true for England’s Georgia Hall.
The 22-year-old rookie made her first LPGA title a memorable one as she prevailed Sunday at the Women’s British Open by two strokes over Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum at Lytham St. Annes.
“I can’t believe it is true,” Hall said during a television interview just moments after the victory. “I don’t believe it has sunk in yet. It’s hard to put into words.”
Hall becomes the third English or Scottish woman to win the event, joining England’s Karen Stupples (2004) and Scotland’s Catriona Matthew (2009). She earned $490,000 for the victory.
“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.”
Hall shot a 5-under-par 67 in the final round to finish at 17-under 271 while becoming the fourth-youngest winner of the Women’s British Open.
Phatlum shot a final-round 70 but was no match for Hall down the stretch.
Hall fired birdies on Nos. 13, 15 and 16 to move into the lead and even a bogey at 18 to close it out didn’t matter. She had six birdies in the round.
Phatlum, the third-round leader, came out strong with four birdies over the first six holes. But she only had one more birdie the rest of the day (at No. 15) and had a bogey on 8 before a disastrous double-bogey on the par-4, 17th hole dropped her three shots back of Hall.
Phatlum put her tee shot on 17 into the sand trap and three-putted the hole to all but clear the way for Hall’s victory.
“I tried my best and didn’t play good on the back nine, but still feeling good with the score today,” Phatlum said afterward.
So Yeon Ryu (70 on Sunday) finished third, four shots back of Hall. Fellow South Korean Sei Young Kim (66), Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn (69) and Japan’s Mamiko Higa (73) tied for fourth, eight shots off the pace.
But Sunday belonged to Hall, who had her father Wayne serving as caddy. The galleries roared for the homeland woman as she made her way around the course.
“I had so much support today from all the people backing me and supporting me and cheering my name,” Hall said. “I’m just so grateful.”