Georgia is happy to be in Hall of fame

Georgia Hall, pictured in her practice round at Gleneagles, has hardly stopped smiling since winning the Women's British Open on Sunday. Picture: Mark Runnacles/Getty
Georgia Hall, pictured in her practice round at Gleneagles, has hardly stopped smiling since winning the Women's British Open on Sunday. Picture: Mark Runnacles/Getty
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She had already enjoyed opening her eyes two mornings in a row to see the Women’s British Open trophy at the side of the bed. “It’s lovely,” said Georgia Hall, smiling, as she’s done a lot since claiming that prized piece of silverware at Royal Lytham on Sunday. “It’s amazing how many rooms that trophy will have been in. You look at the names – like really big-name people – and it’s great to think my name will be on it. I want it on it again already.”

Picking up her putter, though, back out on the golf course – she is at Gleneagles this week to take part in the inaugural European Golf Team Championships – really hammered home to the 22-year-old from Bournemouth what she’d achieved in becoming just the third British player to win that event as a major after Karen Stupples (2004) and Catriona Matthew (2009). “It sounds funny, but I was holding my putter today and was like ‘the last time I held this was when I won the British Open’. That was nice,” admitted Hall.

It’s been a whirlwind couple of days for golf’s newest major winner. She didn’t get a chance for a proper celebration on Sunday night and was up at the crack of dawn the next day for a BBC Breakfast appearance. “Not really,” she replied to being asked if she’d managed much sleep. “I got back to the hotel about 10pm on Sunday and had some dinner. I couldn’t really sleep after what had happened and I was up again at 5am to be on the TV.”

Laura Davies, who is partnering Hall in the women’s event on the PGA Centenary Course in Perthshire, says her compatriot will have to learn to say “no” occasionally from now on. “She needs to manage her time as she needs to keep some energy to play some good golf because the eyes will be on her now,” 
said the four-time major winner.

For the time being, though, Hall is happy to soak up being the centre of attention. “It’s all a good thing because it means I’ve done something great,” she said, that smile creasing her face once more. “I don’t mind, it’s easy questions for me because they’re about what I love and what I do, so I don’t mind.”

Hall climbed to world No 10 on the back of her weekend win. She is comfortably the highest-ranked player, either male or female, in this week’s line-up. There was never a chance, though, of her pulling out. “I didn’t think that for a minute,” she insisted. “I know the British Open is massive but just because I won it, it doesn’t mean I should change my whole plans. I should still stick to the events I was going to play. I just love golf. I have an opportunity to play in a European Championships and to play in Scotland. I love coming here.” Hall’s presence can only help inspire young girls in particular to take up the game. Not just for the way she plays the game but also how she conducts 
herself off the course. The flood of messages from people offering their congratulations over the past couple of days praised her as a person as much as a golfer.

“It’s been lovely to get so many messages from not only my friends but loads of other fellow golfers,” she said. “What I liked is that when they were offering their congratulations they said, ‘you are a lovely person’, and that meant a lot to me.”

Hall, who has her boyfriend, Harry Tyrrell, on the bag this week as dad Wayne returns to dog-walking duties in Bournemouth, and Davies open their campaign in the round-robin stage in the women’s team event against Spanish duo Noemi Jimenez and Silvia Banon. The top teams in four groups progress to the semi-finals and both Hall and Davies are here for one thing only. “To try and win a medal in itself is brilliant and with the winners getting 100,000 Euros each that would be an amazing week if you could end up winning it,” admitted Davies of the innovative event that is offering equal prize-money.

“I’m looking forward to it and obviously now it’s a little bit of extra spice for our team, because Georgia did what she did on the weekend and hopefully that will bring the crowds out because they want to see the British Open champion. Do we have a realistic chance? Well, I’m banking on my partner. It’s all fourball so I’ll just be hanging on to her coat-tails. I might contribute the odd birdie when she needs me, but I’ll just watch her go.”

Using the tournament as part of next year’s Solheim Cup captaincy at the same venue, Catriona Matthew joins forces with Holly Clyburn while Michele Thomson partners Meghan MacLaren in the other Great Britain teams in the women’s event.

SCHEDULE

Wednesday

Men’s and women’s team event round-robin matches

Thursday

Men’s and women’s team event round-robin matches

Friday

Men’s and women’s team event round-robin matches

Saturday

Mixed team event

Sunday

Men’s and women’s team event semi-finals and final

Day 1 draw

Group A

8am Great Britain 1 (Georgia Hall and Laura Davies) v Spain (Noemi Jimenez and Silvia Banon); 8:15am Germany 2 (Isi Gabsa and Leticia Ras-Andercia) v Belgium (Chloe Leurquin and Manon De Roey); 8:30am Great Britain 1 (Callum Shinkwin and Lee Slattery) v Spain 2 (Santiago Tarrio Ben and David Borda); 8:45am Sweden 1 (Per Langfors and Johan Edfors) v Sweden 2 (Daniel Jennevret and Oscar Floren).

Group B

9am: France 1 (Celine Herbin and Astrid Vayson de Pradenne) v Germany 1 (Olivia Cowan and Karolin Lampert); 9:15am: France 2 (Justine Dreher and Manon Molle) v Sweden 2 (Johanna Gustavsson and Julia Engstrom); 9:30am: Great Britain 2 (Rhys Enoch and Charlie Ford) v Great Britain 3 (Connor Syme and Liam Johnston); 9:45am: Italy 2 (Francesco Laporta and Alessandro Tadini) v Ireland (Michael Hoey and Neil O’Briain).

Group C

10am: Iceland (Olafia Kristinsdottir and Valdis Thora Jonsdottir) v Great Britain 3 (Meghan MacLaren and Michele Thomson); 10:15am: Finland (Ursula Wikstrom and Noora Komulainen) v Austria (Christine Wolf and Sarah Schober); 10:30am: Spain 1 (Pedro Oriol and Scott Fernandez) v Portugal (Jose-Filipe Lima and Ricardo Santos); 10:45am: Poland (Adrian Meronk and Mateiusz Gradecki) v Denmark (Martin Ovesen and Niklas Norgaard Moller).

Group D

11am: Great Britain 2 (Catriona Matthew and Holly Clyburn) v Sweden 1 (Emma Nilsson and Lina Boqvist); 11:15 am: Norway (Marianne Skarpnord and Marita Engzelius) v Sweden 3 (Cajsa Persson and Linda Wessberg); 11:30am Italy 1 (Lorenzo Gagli and Guido Migliozzi) v Norway (Jarand Ekeland Arnoy and Kristian Krogh Johannessen); 11:45am: Iceland (Birgir Hafthorsson and Axel Boasson) v Belgium (Christopher Mivis and Lars Buijs).