LONDON: Georgia Hall hopes her Women’s British Open victory will inspire girls to turn to golf and help attract new sponsors to the Ladies European Tour. The 22-year-old English player claimed her first Major by two strokes at Royal Lytham and St Annes on Sunday, seeing off the challenge of Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum. “I couldn’t believe so many young girls and boys were watching me, wanting a picture or an autograph,” she said. “Hopefully I can encourage a lot of young girls out there to take up the game. I want to be a good role model for young girls in Britain.”
Hall, who took home a cheque for $490,000, is keen to see the wider benefits of her moment in the spotlight.
“I hope it will bring more sponsorship to the Ladies European Tour,” she said. “It’s definitely growing and I try to support them when I can. I’m still a member and it’s my home.
“I had to miss roughly three majors because I couldn’t afford to get there, which was frustrating as I’d qualified. As an amateur it’s hard, but I knew if I played well that could get me to these places.”
Before the tournament started, British veteran Laura Davies called for more financial backing for European women’s golf, saying players are short of tournaments to hone their skills.
Hall earned glowing praise for the steely determination she displayed during her final round and admitted she worked hard to keep her emotions in check.
“I do get very excited and it’s because I want it so much,” she said. “I promised myself if I got in this position I wouldn’t get too carried away, focus on every shot and take one shot at a time.
“To go down 18 and manage to close it out fairly easily is a relief for me. Golf is a very mental sport, more than people even think. So it was kind of a battle yesterday.
“It’s my fourth year on tour as a professional and loads of people were asking when was it (a tournament win) going to come.
“I knew if I stayed patient and kept working hard I could win and it would come along.” — AFP
Women’s British Open
final round scores
(GBR & IRL unless stated – par 72):
271 – Georgia Hall 67-68-69-67
273 – Pornanong Phatlum (THA) 67-67-69-70
275 – Ryu So-yeon (KOR) 69-69-67-70
279 – Kim Sei-young (KOR) 71-71-71-66, Ariya Jutanugarn (THA) 71-70-69-69, Mamiko Higa (JPN) 66-69-71-73
280 – Feng Shanshan (CHN) 71-71-69-69, Carlota Ciganda (ESP) 69-73-68-70, Liu Yu (CHN) 69-72-68-71
281 – Minjee Lee (AUS) 65-70-71-75
282 – Thidapa Suwannapura (THA) 72-71-67-72, Lee Jeong-eun (KOR) 73-70-71-68, Lydia Ko (NZL) 68-71- 70-73, Brooke Henderson (CAN) 69-70-69-74
283 – Jaye Marie Green (USA) 74-69-73-67, Su Oh (AUS) 73-70-72-68, Brittany Altomare (USA) 70-70-70-73, Teresa Lu (TPE) 67-69-73-74, Park Sung-hyun (KOR) 67-70-69-77
284 – Madelene Sagstrom (SWE) 69-70-74-71, Kang Haeji (KOR) 72-72-70-70
285 – Sandra Gal (GER) 68-74-72-71, Ryan O’Toole (USA) 72-71-72-70, Aditi Ashok (IND) 72-72-73-68, Kim Hyo-joo (KOR) 72-69-72-72, Pannarat Thanapolboonyaras (THA) 73-71-69-72, Phoebe Yao (TPE) 71-71-67-76