In-form Hall looking to make history in France
You may not have heard much about it in amongst the hullabaloo of all the Ryder Cup wildcard speculation over the past couple of days, but Georgia Hall had a two-shot lead going into the final round of the LPGA’s Cambia Portland Classic last Sunday as she aimed to pick up her second LPGA trophy and continue her remarkable recent form.
With a charging Marina Alex on her tail, Hall let her lead slip, but a runner-up finish represented her third best career finish behind her British Open exploits in the past two years.
Winning your first major championship at the age of 22 is a big deal, but winning your home Open while bringing one of the game’s most iconic links courses to its knees is quite extraordinary.
And that’s why it wouldn’t have surprised anyone to see Hall struggle to maintain the same level of performance that she showed at Lytham for the remainder of the season.
But, staggeringly, the opposite is true.
The Bournemouth star took two weeks off after her major triumph, opting to skip the Indy Women in Tech Championship and make her return in Saskatchewan for the CP Women’s Open.
Hall finished tied for 23rd in Canada – a solid effort given the circumstances.
But after she fired a second round 63 in Portland last week – smashing the 36-hole scoring record in the process – she revealed that she was feeling under the weather the previous week.
“I think it was just due to jet lag, and like it was a really long flight. I hadn’t one in two months, like a really long one. I know that sounds a bit silly, but yeah, I had a bad cold, and the weather didn’t help because it was freezing in the morning, as well. I think I’m back to normal now.”
If shooting 63s and breaking records is her idea of normal, then the rest of the tour clearly need to watch out.
Even Hall’s caddie started to get a little scared of her when she couldn’t stop draining long putts in that 9-under second round in Portland.
“After about the seventh or eighth one in a row went in, he was like, ‘Oh, God, you’re scaring me, what’s going on?’” Hall said.
“I just kept in my own bubble and just kept focusing on the putts, and they were dropping.”
After that second place finish, Hall jumped up one spot to 9th in the world rankings, and she’s about to enter the final the major of the year next week, the Evian Championship, with her eye on winning back-to-back majors – and she has a very real chance. In fact, she will likely be one of the favourites.
Hall made her debut in the event at the Evian Resort Golf Club last year where she opened with rounds of 68 and 69 to sit just four shots behind the leader, Moriya Jutanugarn, going into the final round.
She eventually had to settle with a tie for 10th place after a final round one-over-par 72.
Twelve months on, Hall has experience of winning a major, she’ll go into the week comfortable with the golf course after last year’s finish, and she’s in incredibly hot form.
If she wins, she’ll become the first ever British woman to win consecutive major championships.
Strap yourselves in – the 22-year-old could be about to enter the history books yet again.