'It's a proper golf course': Britain's finest on their ANA chancesApril 3, 2019 News & Tour
The first major of the season is upon us and Georgia Hall and Charley Hull are both heading into the ANA Inspiration with high hopes, writes Joe Hughes
The ANA Inspiration begins on Thursday and is again being held at Mission Hills Country Club in California.
Last year’s event was a true classic, and in typical major fashion had a thrilling finish.
Pernilla Lindberg was the eventual champion, claiming her first LPGA Tour victory after an epic eight-hole play-off.
This year, she is bidding to defend her title, but she will face plenty of competition from the world’s best, including English duo Georgia Hall and Charley Hull.
Hall will be looking to continue the sort of form she produced in the 2018 major championships which led her to a memorable victory at the Women’s British Open.
She missed the cut at this event last year, but Hall is a fan of the course and with a major already under her belt, that could provide the catalyst to Stateside glory.
Speaking about the course, she said: “The greens are pretty tricky, sometimes a bit hard to read, so I think that’s key for this week for my performance.
“The conditions are amazing, and you’ve got to be good off the tee because the rough is very thick.”
She has taken a slightly different preparation route this year and skipped last week’s Kia Classic.
“I practised for a few days, but also made sure I had a few days off to relax and really get used to this type of greens, that’s the main reason.”
The Englishwoman’s win at the British Open was made all the more special as her dad was on the bag that week and he will caddie again this week with her mum and boyfriend also in attendance.
“I’ve got my mum and Harry here as well, so it’s nice.
“Mum and dad have always come to this event and it’s the only one that they always come to.”
Meanwhile, Hull will be teeing it up in hope of collecting her maiden major title and with top-10 finishes in three of the five majors last season, she is looking to go one better.
Having played Titleist clubs for the best part of this decade, Hull recently made the switch to TaylorMade equipment and will put her new clubs into play this week.
“I’m looking forward to using them this week. Their woods are really, really good,” she said.
One of the most interesting aspects of her new bag is the putter that she will be using.
She explained: “It was my caddie’s putter and made by TaylorMade. I really liked it, so I’m just going to use it from now on. It helps me to line up putts.”
The ANA Inspiration is generally Hull’s strongest major in terms of performances and results, and her relationship with the event goes back to her amateur days.
“When I was an amateur, it was the first professional event that I ever played in when I was around 15 or 16, and I’ve just loved it ever since.”
Having won on the LET already this season, Hull could well be jumping into the lake come Sunday afternoon at a course she really seems to love.
“I like it because it’s a ball strikers’ golf course, you’ve got to hit it well.
“I just think it’s so much fun, a proper golf course.”
Georgia Hall and Charlie Hull: The breakdown
Best major finish
Hall: 1st (2018 Women’s British Open)
Hull: Tied-2nd (2016 ANA Inspiration)
Best ANA Inspiration finish
Hall: Missed cut (2013, 2018)
Hull: Tied-2nd (2016)
Career earnings to date