British Star, Georgia Hall Wins in the USFenix XCell
Georgia Hall was clearly rattled, not after making a bogey on the final hole at the Cambia Portland Classic to shoot 68 and finish the week at 12-under, but after learning that she came into the final hole with a one-shot lead.
Hall blinked more than once when she was told that the bogey meant she had to go into a playoff with Ashleigh Buhai, one that Hall would win with a par on the second extra hole. But at the end of regulation, she didn’t know.
Because it’s 2020 and nothing is normal, there were no leaderboards. Players are allowed to check their phones, but as Karen Stupples, who was on the ground for Golf Channel, said, “As a player, it doesn’t seem right (pulling out your phone). It’s not part of your routine.”
Normally, she would have known where that left her. As she put it, “(Scoreboards) are normally in your face.”
“I actually thought one of the players from the group behind, the leading group (of Green, second-round leader and fellow Englishwoman Mel Reid, and Amy Yang), maybe was ahead of me and I was second,” Hall said. “But then when I found out that I made bogey so therefore I have to get in a playoff, I was a little bit upset at that.
“I’m more just like an average board watcher. I think sometimes it’s good to know; sometimes it isn’t. In this instance, I’m guessing I was leading in the last four or five holes, so I’m quite happy I didn’t look.”
Geogria Hall’s first win in the US
Georgia Hall won her major championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes amidst constant cries of “Come on, Georgia!”
This time it was Georgia who cried, emotions overwhelming her after Buhai missed a par putt on No. 1, the second playoff hole, to give Hall her second career LPGA Tour victory.
“I was quite nervous the last six or seven holes, so it was a buildup of emotions,” she said. “And then bogeying the last and getting in a playoff, it was a buildup and then just really happy tears at the end.
“I think that (after) I won the British, I just wanted to win again really badly, especially in America. After a couple of years, obviously, I’d never won in America. I find it easier maybe to win in Europe or Great Britain. But I always knew it would be harder (the longer I went without a victory) so for me to win, it’s a relief that I’ve won in America.”
She was also thrilled to have friends by her side this time around. Even without a gallery, players and volunteers streamed out to watch.
Moirya Jutanugarn was T3 and the highest placed Thai while her sister Ariya slumped down the leaderboard suffering from a back pain.