Sunday, 21 October, 2018

Hall's first major win comes on home soil

Ko gets some advice from her caddy GETTY IMAGES Ko gets some advice from her caddy
Cary Erickson | 09 August, 2018, 01:46

She went into the final round at Royal Lytham trailing Pornanong Phatlum by a shot and did not hit the front until the 16th hole, eventually going on to win the tournament by two shots.

She was named in honour of Nick Faldo's 1996 Masters victory at Augusta National in Georgia.

Twenty-two years later, Hall is the pride of English golf just like Faldo was.

Ryu, who has three top-10 British Open finishes climbed up the leaderboard with a run of six birdies from the fifth to the 12th.

But Hall chose the ideal moment to showcase her best golf and took the lead at exactly the right moment, sinking a flawless 20-foot putt on the sixteenth after Phatlum had found the green-side bunker.

Phatlum's collapse meant Hall's bogey on the last mattered little, as she matched her best round of the week with a 67 to wrap up the win.

Phatlum, the third-round leader, came out strong with four birdies over the first six holes.

"I was very confident going into this event from previous year (equal third) and I love links golf and I'm playing in England, which is very rare".

Pornanong, the leader after the second and third rounds, started the day a shot ahead of Hall, opened her lead to two strokes after three straight birdies from No. 4, but was caught by her playing partner at No. 13 when Hall birdied.

The 22-year-old from Bournemouth came from virtually unknown to scoop the coveted title at Royal Lytham - the first for someone her age.

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Hall also wowed the fans at Centurion in May alongside Charley Hull, the pair reaching the quarter-finals of the GolfSixes and earning a 1-1 draw with their male English counterparts Eddie Pepperell and Matt Wallace.

Behind Phatlum in the lead, two-time major victor So Yeon-Ryu from South Korea is third, while Japan's Marmiko Higa is in a tie for fourth.

Both players then scrambled at the eleventh after going beyond the green with their approaches but Hall then began to make her move and went level again with a fine birdie on the thirteenth.

Over the 72 holes, Hall made only three bogeys - she could well afford the one at the last - and her six-birdie final round secured a two-shot victory over Pornanong.

Victory meant the 2013 British ladies' amateur champion, who now spends most of her time playing in America on the LPGA Tour, emulated compatriot Karen Stupples (2004) and Scot Catriona Matthew (2009), the other two British winners since this event became a major.

"I think the big thing for me is just focus for every shot". "I can't believe it really happened".

It was also an emotional win as her grandfather is not well.

"I was loving it deep down, hitting the shots under pressure", said Hall, who barely showed any emotions all round.

"I was lucky to hold the golf club", she said of the nerves that suddenly made their presence felt at the last.