Hall mark of maturity

Georgia Hall
Georgia Hall gets a look at 13th Beach ahead of the 2018 Oates Vic Open. Credit: Tristan Jones.

 

The anonymity with which Georgia Hall strolled 13th Beach in 2016 is long gone.

Although the then 19-year-old would go on to win the Oates Vic Open by a shot and win a host of admirers in her first professional triumph, there was little fanfare until approaching the frenetic finish.

Fast-forward two years and things have well and truly changed for the softly spoken Englishwoman.

She returns to Barwon Heads the 2017 Ladies European Tour player of the year, the tour’s Order of Merit champion and a newly minted LPGA Tour player.

Importantly, Hall, now 21, returns as a European Solheim Cup player – not only a badge of honour, but also an accurate reflection of her rising status in the global game.

“Yeah, a lot has happened in those two years,” Hall said today as she put the finishing touches on the preparation for her year’s first tournament.

“At the time I won here, not a lot of people had heard of me, but having had a great year last year has changed things for me a little, even though I’m the same person.

“Well, maybe I should say I’m a slightly different person because I’ve feel like I’ve grown up a fair bit in that time … but I’m still the same fun, happy person.

“And I am only 21 still … it’s not like I’m old yet.”

Indeed.

But what of the pressure? The target on the back of someone who shone on debut in the firestorm that is the Solheim Cup?

“No, it’s not really a factor," Hall said matter-of-factly.

“I’m a long way from home and people aren’t really supporting me or anything, despite the great friends I made last time I was here.

“I hope they all come out and support me, that would be fantastic. But really, it doesn’t matter if there is no one around much like last time, or whether I have thousands of people watching, it’s always just you and your caddie in the end.”

That caddie is boyfriend and fellow young English pro, Harry Tyrrell, who’ll be on the bag for five straight weeks, the longest stretch of Hall’s career, taking in Australian events here, the ActewAGL Canberra Classic and the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open before heading to Asia to continue the LPGA Tour’s Pacific swing.

“It’s the first time. The most I’ve done (previously) was four weeks in a row here a couple of years ago, so I’ll just pace myself and keep as much energy as possible.”

“But I’m looking forward to it, can’t wait to get going again.”

Which, not coincidentally, is the exact same sentiment shared by the fans she won over at 13th Beach two years ago.

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