You have to go back to 1997 for Britain's last major champion on American soil. Georgia Hall is confident that wait is about to come to an end
LPGA Tour victories for British players have been hard to come by in the 21st century, such has been the domination of American and Korean players – and one particular Swedish golfer, of course – on the US circuit.
In the 2010s, only Catriona Matthew, Charley Hull and Bronte Law won LPGA events on American soil, but this decade, despite the pandemic, has started in fine form for our tiny island, with Georgia Hall and Mel Reid going back to back at the Portland and ShopRite Classics respectively.
It’s the first time Britain has produced consecutive LPGA Tour winners since Trish Johnson and Caroline Pierce did it in 1996. And it couldn’t have been better timed as the players head to Aronimink for the postponed Women’s PGA Championship, because history has been less kind when it comes to majors on American soil, where only Laura Davies and Alison Nicholas have won – the last of which was in 1997.
So we asked in-form Hall to write a few words about breaking America, preparing for the second major of the season, and which British players she expects to challenge this week…
It was a relief to win in the US. It was one of my goals, so I was extremely happy when I won the play-off. That was actually my first ever play-off as a professional, so that was quite new to me.
And there was no leaderboard, so I wasn’t sure where I was. Going down the last, at the time, I didn’t know if I was 3rd or 4th or winning by five. I should have looked at the leaderboard on my phone, but I chose not to. When I found out, while signing my scorecard, that the bogey on the last meant a play-off, I was quite upset. I had five minutes to get myself together, and believe I still have a chance to win this.
In the play-off I was actually much more calm, mainly because the fourth round was over and I was now playing against one person, so it was more like match play. I was quietly confident. A few holes went by, and I was able to sink a six-footer to win.
2018 was my LPGA rookie year, so I wasn’t expecting to win a major. But when I did I had to re-evaluate my goals quickly and set new ones. Obviously it’s fantastic that I won it so early, at only 22.
Now I want to keep climbing the world rankings, keep winning majors, and playing in the Solheim Cup.
I am going to take it year-by-year, but of course winning a major in the US would be special as well.
US majors and the Women’s Open couldn’t be more opposite. They don’t compare at all really. The US majors have really quick greens, thick rough, and are set up quite long. You also get great weather.
The Open can be wet, windy, and sometimes freezing cold. They don’t set it up too long, more like average yardages, and the greens are quite slow because of the wind. Obviously playing at home in front of my friends and family is also very special.
It would be great to win a US major. The KPMG is always hosted on fantastic golf courses, like the one this week. It takes all of your game in a week like this if you want to win. I am just grateful the tournament is on, because of Covid-19 and the delays, so it’s great that they have made the event happen.
I saw the course at Aronimink for the first time on Tuesday and I must say it’s quite a test – which majors should be, of course. It is a very tricky golf course, but that makes it more fun for me. I can’t wait to get out there on Thursday. The weather is pretty good at the moment, and I have been practising out on the range after my 18 holes today.
I really believe I can win any event, if I have my game on the day and I make the right decisions. It’s hard to win on the LPGA, because there are so many great golfers, but winning a couple of weeks ago in the US has given me a lot of confidence and I am really excited to get going.
There is a really good chance a British player wins this week. Mel [Reid] is playing great, and obviously I’m in form. There are other great players from the UK, like Jodi [Ewart-Shadoff] and Charley [Hull], so anyone can have a great week. It’s a major championship, so people get a bit more fire inside them for this event.
- Georgia Hall was talking to Barry Plummer
Georgia Hall has speaking to NCG as an ambassador for leading healthcare provider Schoen Clinic London. A world-renowned innovator in the treatment and prevention of sports related injuries, Schoen Clinic London is lending its expertise to benefit some of the world’s leading golfers, including Hall, Francesco Molinari, Padraig Harrington, and Henrik Stenson. Visit Schoen Clinic London’s website for more.