Georgia Hall Electrifies Home Crowds In Major Victory At RICOH Women’s British Open
Cheered by large home crowds following her every stroke, England’s Georgia Hall captured her first LPGA and major title with a one-stroke victory over Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum at the 2018 Ricoh Women’s British Open. She is the first Englishwoman to win her home country’s biggest title since Karen Stupples in 2004 and the first British winner since Catriona Matthew in 2009.
Hall and Phatlum dueled their way around the golf course, pouring in birdie after birdie and pulling well clear of the rest of the field. However, Phatlum faltered twice, making bogey at No. 8 and then three-putting for double bogey at No. 17 to give Hall a three-stroke lead going to the final hole. That advantage was more than enough for the 22-year-old, who tapped in for bogey at No. 18 and raised her hands in triumph to the delight of the boisterous crowds surrounding the final hole.
So Yeon Ryu came back from a triple-bogey at No. 3 to card a final-round 70 and finish solo third at -13, two strokes behind Phatlum. World No. 1 Ariya Jutanugarn was one of four players tied for fourth at -9; she is projected to remain at the top of the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings for a second consecutive week.
GEORGIA MASTERS THE BUNKERS
With 167 bunkers for the players to attempt to avoid at Royal Lytham & St Annes, it would be hard for anyone to steer clear of them all week. Georgia Hall ended up in just one fairway bunker and seven greenside bunkers over the course of her 72 holes, and her perfect seven-of-seven sand-saves record, including going two for two on Sunday, was instrumental in keeping her from dropping any shots when missing the green.
Hall, who had three bogeys in four rounds, said, “If I’m in a greenside bunker, I think my greenside bunker play is quite good, anyway. I managed to get up-and-down every time. I’m really proud of myself the way we made tough decisions off the tee and managed to commit to the right shots.”
PHATLUM GRACIOUS IN DEFEAT
In the end, it wasn’t meant to be for 54-hole leader Pornanong Phatlum. The 28-year-old from Thailand’s epic duel with eventual champion Georgia Hall went down to the wire, with the duo tied with three holes left in the championship. After Hall birdied the 16th and Phatlum double-bogeyed the 17th, Thailand’s hope for a second major champion was dashed.
Phatlum, flashing her trademark smile through the end, said of Hall, “She played so amazing today, everything is perfect. Yeah, she is from here and everyone is rooting for her. I’m so happy she won.”
The runner-up result is Phatlum’s best career finish in a major and her second major top-10. It is the fifth runner-up result of her LPGA career and best showing since the 2016 HSBC Women’s Champions.
HALL NOW ELIGIBLE FOR ROLEX ANNIKA MAJOR AWARD
With her win, Georgia Hall is now eligible to win the 2018 Rolex ANNIKA Major Award (RAMA), which is bestowed upon the player with the season’s most outstanding major championship performance. She joins Pernilla Lindberg (ANA Inspiration), Ariya Jutanugarn (U.S. Women’s Open) and Sung Hyun Park (KPMG Women’s PGA Championship), with the award decided following the season’s final major, The Evian Championship.
Through the season’s first four majors, Jutanugarn leads the RAMA standings with 88 points, followed by Park with 64. Hall and Lindberg are tied for third with 60 points apiece.
Past RAMA winners are Michelle Wie (2014), Inbee Park (2015), Lydia Ko (2016) and So Yeon Ryu (2017).
Rolex Rankings No. 39 Georgia Hall (67-68-69-67—271, -17)
- Hall was playing in her sixth Ricoh Women’s British Open; she had previously made the cut three times, with a best finish of T3 in 2017 at Kingsbarns
- Her 72-hole score of 271 is tied for the lowest 72-hole score of her LPGA career, joining the 271 she shot at the 2018 Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic
- Her 72-hole score of 271 is also her major best by four strokes, bettering the 275 she shot at the 2017 Ricoh Women’s British Open
- This was Hall’s 15th tournament of the 2018 LPGA season; her previous best finish is was at the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic
- Her best previous career major finish is T3 at the 2017 Ricoh Women’s British Open
- Hall is the fourth-youngest winner of the Ricoh Women’s British Open, behind Jiyai Shin (20/3/6), Ariya Jutanugarn (20/8/8) and Yani Tseng (21/6/9)
- She earns 300 points toward the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Award and is projected to move into second in those standings behind Jin Young Ko, who leads with 889 points but did not make the cut
- She is the LPGA Tour’s first English winner since Charley Hull at the 2016 CME Group Tour Championship
- She is the first English women’s major winner since Karen Stupples won the 2004 Ricoh Women’s British Open and the fourth overall, along with Laura Davies (four majors), Alison Nicholas (one major) and Stupples (one major)
- She is the fifth European women’s major winner of the last decade, joining Pernilla Lindberg (Sweden), Anna Nordqvist (Sweden), Suzann Pettersen (Norway) and Catriona Matthew (Scotland)
- She is the first person in history to win the Girls’ British Open Amateur, Ladies’ British Open Amateur and Ricoh Women’s British Open
Rolex Rankings No. 97 Pornanong Phatlum (67-67-69-70—273, -15)
- Phatlum was playing in her eighth Ricoh Women’s British Open; she had previously only made the cut once, finishing T27 in 2014
- Her 72-hole score of 273 is her major best by six strokes, bettering the 279 she shot at the 2018 ANA Inspiration; she shot a 296 in her only other Ricoh Women’s British Open made-cut in 2014
- This was Phatlum’s 18th tournament of the 2018 LPGA season; her best finish is T7 at the Honda LPGA Thailand
- Her best previous major finish was seventh at the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open
- This is Phatlum’s fifth runner-up finish, joining the 2013 Mobile Bay LPGA Classic, the 2014 Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia, the 2015 Cambia Portland Classic and the 2016 HSBC Women’s Champions; she also has an unofficial win at the 2012 HSBC Brasil Cup, a two-day exhibition
- She has two wins on the Ladies European Tour – the 2012 Hero Women’s Indian Open and the 2013 Omega Dubai Ladies Masters
Georgia Hall is the seventh Rolex First-Time Winner of 2018, joining Jin Young Ko, Pernilla Lindberg, Moriya Jutanugarn, Annie Park, Nasa Hataoka and Thidapa Suwannapura
Seven countries were represented in the top 10 – England, Thailand, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Spain, the People’s Republic of China and Australia
At 5-under 283 and in a tie for 15th, Brittany Altomare and Jaye Marie Green were the leading Americans
The three previous major winning scores at Royal Lytham & St Annes are 285 (-3, Catriona Matthew, 2009), 281 (-7, Sherri Steinhauer, 2006) and 278 (-10, Annika Sorenstam, 2003)
LEADERS TOP 10 COMPETITION
Ariya Jutanugarn continues to lead the LEADERS Top 10 competition after finishing T4 for her Tour-leading 12th top-10 finish of the 2018 season. Following in second with nine top-10 finishes are 2018 LPGA rookie Jin Young Ko and Minjee Lee, who finished solo 10th this week.
The LEADERS Top 10 competition awards a $100,000 bonus to the LPGA player with the most top-10 finishes through the completion of the Blue Bay LPGA (Nov. 7-10). In the event of a tie in total top-10 finishes, the award will go to the player with the most official wins, followed by most second-place finishes, third-place finishes, etc., until the tie is broken.
CME GROUP CARES WEEKENDS EAGLES
CME Group Cares Weekends is a season-long charitable giving program that turns eagles into donations. For each eagle recorded during weekend play (Saturday and Sunday) throughout the 2018 LPGA Tour season, CME Group donates $1,000 to the program’s total donation count. At the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship, the stakes are even higher, as the donation has been raised to a generous $5,000 per eagle. The money raised will go toward a charitable pool and be split evenly between Wounded Warrior Project® and Bright Pink®.
The weekend at the Ricoh Women’s British Open saw four eagles. That translates to $4,000 raised, and $228,000 raised on the year.
Tournament: @RICOHWomensBrit (Twitter), @ricohwomensbritishopen (Instagram), #RWBO, #MasterTheElements
LPGA: @LPGA, @LPGAMedia (Twitter), @lpga_tour (Instagram)
TOURNAMENT SCORING RECORDS
18 holes: 62, Minea Blomqvist, third round, 2004; Mirim Lee, first round, 2016
36 holes: 133, Caroline Masson, 2011; Mirim Lee, 2016; In-Kyung Kim, 2017
54 holes: 199, In-Kyung Kim, 2017
72 holes: 269, Karen Stupples, 2004