Georgia Hall hopes to feed off her love of links golf and passion for the AIG Women’s Open as she goes in search of a second Major title at Royal Troon.
The 24-year-old is enjoying the buzz of the first women’s Major Championship of the year, an event Hall memorably won in 2018 at Royal Lytham and St Annes.
Given Royal Troon is set to present similar links challenges, the English player is relishing the task as a star-studded international field prepare to compete from Thursday.
With the AIG Women’s Open being played safely without spectators due to COVID-19, Hall said, “It’s lovely coming to an event knowing that you’ve won it and done the job in a Women’s Open, my home kind of event. I look forward to this more than any other throughout the year.
“It’s always very special to see all the massive boards everywhere and it definitely feels like a Major.”
The R&A Women and Girls’ Golf ambassador added; “I think it’s an amazing venue at Royal Troon. I love links golf. I only bring the 3-iron out once a year, and this is the week, so I can’t wait. I’ve heard it’s going to be windy, so it’s going to play extremely tough.”
While fellow Englishwoman Charley Hull is more familiar with parkland courses, the 24-year-old has experience of Royal Troon having played it in her early teens as an amateur in the Helen Holm Scottish Open Stroke Play Championship.
“I’m feeling good,” said Hull, who has posted five top-10s in Majors. “I played Royal St. George’s in the Rose Ladies Series about a month ago and that kind of got me in some links golf.
“The golf course is in great condition. The greens are rolling really nicely. I like it because it doesn’t look that long on the scorecard, but it has a lot of lay-up holes that leave longer irons into the greens. I quite like that because I’m a strong long iron player.”
With Royal Troon hosting the AIG Women’s Open for the first time, Hull is especially looking forward to the challenge of the ‘Postage Stamp’, the short 8th, at 114 yards.
“It’s only a wedge, it depends on the wind direction, so it’s a good birdie hole I think,” she said. “There’s a lot more tricky holes out there, but it’s a cool little hole.”
The staging of the AIG Women’s Open continues a rich history at Royal Troon, having hosted The Open on nine occasions. It has also hosted events such as The Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex, The Amateur Championship and the Women’s Amateur Championship.
Dame Laura Davies, making her 40th appearance in the Championship, has the honour of striking the opening tee shot on Thursday morning at 6.30am.
Danielle Kang, USA, world number two
“Dame Laura Davies is a legend, an absolute legend, and she’s a role model in how she approaches the game. How she plays the game is different, her style of golf is different, and she’s so strong in how she plays her game, yet so different and it’s so graceful.
“For her to be able to play this Championship for 40 appearances, that is amazing. It tells you that you can do it for a long time, and golf gives us that. Any time she plays, I still watch from across the fairway. She’s our rock.”
Hannah Green, Australia, world number 20
“My mum’s side of the family is from Scotland. They are up in Fraserburgh, which is about 45 minutes north of Aberdeen. My first actual trip to Scotland was in 2018, so not that long ago. I was then fortunate enough last year that I got to play St Andrews, but I had not actually been to this side of Scotland. I’m really excited to be here. I feel like I do have, you know, somewhat of an idea of links golf. I’m from Perth (Western Australia) where it does get windy, but probably not the same scene as Troon.”
Hinako Shibuno, Japan, Defending Champion
“I’ve always been conscious of keeping a smile on my face while I’m playing, but after winning the AIG Women’s Open last year, it made me realise, once again, the importance of playing with a smile. I’ve had a lot of experiences but nothing that tops my experience of winning the AIG Women’s Open. I’m going to have to play smart. But at the same time as defending champion, I’m going to enjoy it.”
Ariya Jutanugarn, Thailand, 2016 Women’s Open winner
“As soon as I walked in, I felt like this is a Major, because everything is set up, especially the golf course. My caddie told me how great it is and how tough it is, how challenging it is. I think the first thing I learnt on links is patience. You really need to be patient because, especially the weather, you can’t control it. It can be windy. It can be raining. Anything can happen in one round.”
For further information on the AIG Women’s Open, please visit www.AIGwomensopen.com