Georgia Hall shot the round of her career Friday at the Cambia Portland Classic, and holds a three-shot lead going into the weekend.
Hall, who captured the RICOH Women’s British Open in dramatic fashion in July in front of a boisterous hometown crowd, shot a 9-under-par 63 Friday. The round included five straight birdies on her back nine on No’s 12-16.
A rookie on Tour this year, Hall has only one other top-10 beyond her victory at the British Open. She finished tied for 28th last week at the CP Women’s Open after battling a cold and jet lag.
“It was a really long flight. I hadn't one in two months, like a really long one. I know that sounds a bit silly, but yeah, I had a bad cold, and the weather didn't help because it's freezing in the morning, as well,” said Hall about the Canadian weather during last week’s CP Women’s Open. “I think I'm back to normal now, so it's nice.”
Hall said the key to her round was her putting. She took only 23 putts on Friday after hitting 14/18 greens.
“I holed some really long ones… and my long game was pretty good today, and I didn't really miss a green that much,” she said. “I'm extremely happy, and I kind of stayed in there and kept trying to get more birdies, so I was happy with that.”
At one point Hall was 10 shots ahead of her playing partners. She admitted it was “a bit strange” to see that, but she said she just wanted to keep going.
“I want to get as far ahead of the others as I can. That's what I kept thinking,” she said. “I just want to increase the distance apart.”
Hall leads Minjee Lee – already a winner this year – by three shots. Her 36-hole score of 129 is the lowest in tournament history. Her 129 is also the best 36-hole score of her career. She’s shot 135 on three other occasions, most recently at the Women’s British Open.
Hall’s previous best-career LPGA Tour round was a 66. She said Friday her caddie told her it was a “little scary” to watch her play today.
“After about the seventh or eighth (birdie) went in, he was like, ‘oh, God, you're scaring me, what's going on?’ I don't know if that's a good or bad thing,” said Hall. “But I just kept in my own bubble and just kept focusing on the putts, and they were dropping, so like I said, I'm extremely happy with 9-under, and it's my low score to date, so it's good.”
Hall has never played the Cambia Portland Classic before, but through two rounds, it looks like she’s managing things just fine.
“I love this golf course,” she said. “It's very nice to play. It's in great condition, so I look forward to the weekend and seeing what I can do.”