Hall captures Ricoh Women’s British Open

Georgia Hall might have been destined for golf greatness from the time her father named her after watching Sir Nick Faldo of England win the 1996 Masters on TV from Augusta, Ga.

The 22-year-old Hall became the first Englishwoman to win the Ricoh  Women’s British Open since Karen Stupples in 2004 by shooting 5-under-par 67 and beating Pornanong Phatlum of Thailand by two strokes at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club in Lancashire, England.

“It hasn’t sunk in yet,” said Hall, whose previous two pro victories came on developmental tours after she captured the 2013 Ladies British Amateur Championship. “I just told myself to stay calm all day and I did that. I thought I might cry, but I probably will tonight. I’m just over the moon. I can’t put it into words.

“I played really well and putted so great. I’m so happy, it’s just incredible. For all the people who were out there backing me, cheering my name, I’m so grateful.”

Hall, with Stupples following as an on-course commentator for NBC, pulled even with 54-hole leader Phatlum with a birdie on the 13th hole and added two more on the 15th and 16th while pulling away to a final score of 17-under 271.

The victory made Hall, from Bournemouth, the first player to win the Girls’ British Open Amateur, the Ladies’ British Amateur and the Ricoh Women’s British Open.

Phatlum, 26, who has 16 pro victories, birdied four of the first six holes in the final round two build a two-shot lead and was in the hunt until taking a double-bogey 6 on the 17th hole while finishing with a 70.

Fourth-ranked So Yeon Ryu of South Korea rallied after making a triple-bogey 7 on the third hole with seven birdies to shoot 70 and finished four back in solo third, while top-ranked Ariya Jutanugarn, the 2016 champion, totaled 69 to tie for fourth, eight behind, with Sei Young Kim of South Korea, who had eight birdies in a 66, and Mamiko Higa of Japan, who wound up at 73.

Sixth-ranked Shanshan Feng of China posted a score of 69 to finish one more down in a tie for seventh with Carlota Ciganda of Spain, who had a 70, and Yu Li of China, who came in at 71, while Minjee Lee of Australia finished 10 behind in solo 10th after a 75.

Jaye Marie Green collected three birdies on each nine while posting a 67, and tied Brittany Altomare, who shot 73, for the best American finish in a tie for 15th.

Seventh-ranked In-Kyung Kim of South Korea closed with a 73 and tied for 39th in her title defense.

For complete results, visit http://www.lpga.com/leaderboard

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