Open champion Hall achieves childhood dream

Georgia Hall is simply pinching herself after she claimed her maiden major title, a stunning final round seeing her win the Women's British Open at Royal Lytham and St Annes by two shots.

The 22-year-old became only the third British winner of the event since it became a major championship in 2001, shooting a five-under 67 for a 17-under total.

Hall started the last round one shot back from Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum, after the Dorset native birdied three of her last four holes on Saturday to keep her in touch with her playing partner.

Hall said: “It is too good to be true. It was my goal when I was nine to win the British Open. I am so happy. I just had to stay calm and patient.

“It was very close up to the last two holes and I holed all the putts. I was loving it deep down, hitting the shots under pressure. To get six birdies in the final round of a major is not bad.”

And she had little doubt over who she wished to dedicate her triumph to, adding: “There’s someone special at home who's going through a very bad time, so this is for you, Grandad. I'd also like to thank my dad for caddying.

“Thanks for doing everything for me when I was growing up…and to my mum, and to my boyfriend as well for supporting me.”

The two players traded birdies in the opening stages of the final round before Hall joined Phatlum at the top of the leaderboard with a birdie on the 13th.

She then holed a 20ft putt on the 16th to take the lead for the first time, with Phatlum’s double bogey on the 17th giving Hall a three-shot cushion going down the last.

Hall was able to enjoy her stroll up the 18th as she held her nerve to secure victory despite finishing with her only bogey of the round, with Phatlum two shots back on 15-under.

Hall’s victory meant she emulated compatriot Karen Stupples (2004) and Scot Catriona Matthew (2009), the other two British winners of the event since it became a major.

Sportsbeat 2018