Golf: Confident Hall to give her all

Besides her target to win a second straight Major, Georgia Hall is also aiming to be included in the European team who will take on the US in the Solheim Cup in Gleneagles, Scotland next year. The eighth-ranked Briton is one of the favourites going i
Besides her target to win a second straight Major, Georgia Hall is also aiming to be included in the European team who will take on the US in the Solheim Cup in Gleneagles, Scotland next year. The eighth-ranked Briton is one of the favourites going into this week's Evian Championship, the fifth and last Major of the year.PHOTO: REUTERS

British Open champ seeks 2nd Major but Evian's bad weather may be a wet blanket

EVIAN (France) • Georgia Hall says she is taking "more confidence" into this week's Evian Championship after claiming her maiden Major title at the British Open last month.

The Englishwoman had an impressive top-10 finish on her debut at the final Major of the year in France a year ago, and she lines up this time around as one of the favourites.

The 22-year-old catapulted herself into the limelight by beating Thailand's Pornanong Phatlum by two strokes at Royal Lytham & St Annes and is hopeful of more Major success.

She followed her British Open triumph by nearly winning her first title in the United States. She was second in the Portland Classic and has now risen to No. 8 in the world.

"I would love to win this event and make it back-to-back Majors," she said.

"I enjoy challenges. I believe I am the first English woman to be ranked in the top 10 in the world and I love creating history."

She made her Solheim Cup debut last year, and one of her main goals is to be back in the team for Gleneagles, Scotland next year.

What could be more challenging though for organisers is Mother Nature, with the LPGA Tour offering no guarantee that 72 holes will be completed this week.

It cut last year's event to 54 holes due to bad weather at Evian-les-Bains, a decision that was widely criticised as diminishing the status of a designated Major.

It was the second time in its five-year September run that the event had been shortened to three rounds. The LPGA hopes to avoid such a fate when the event reverts next year to its old slot in July, when the weather is generally better with more daylight than in September.

At least the forecast for showers today and tomorrow is less dire than last year when heavy downpours and strong winds caused havoc on the first day.

"Our goal for each event is to complete all scheduled rounds of competition with Monday as an option to complete play," Heather Daly-Donofrio, the LPGA's chief communications and tour operations officer, said.

But, while Mondays are an option, they are rarely used as the LPGA is reluctant to play beyond Sunday due to television and sponsor demands.

Defending Evian champion Anna Nordqvist of Sweden does not like to see LPGA events shortened.

"I think Major championships should be 72 holes, unless there's certain circumstances where the golf (course) is unplayable," she said.

"Given the circumstances last year, there just wasn't much we could do, but a lot of times Monday finishes are options.

"It doesn't seem like we have applied them a lot on the LPGA Tour in my years on tour but, given that there are Mondays, I feel like we should keep going if we can."

The Evian Championship was designated the fifth women's Major in 2013, a decision some felt diluted the entire Major product.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 13, 2018, with the headline 'Confident Hall to give her all'. Print Edition | Subscribe