The last time the AIG Women’s Open visited a links-style golf course, Georgia Hall became the first player since 2004 to win the major title in her home country when she captured the 2018 title at Royal Lytham and St Annes in Lancashire, England. Fast forward two years and the 24-year-old would love nothing more than to reclaim that major glory, still looking for her first victory since that incredible day.
“Obviously (Woburn, the 2019 venue) wasn't a links course, but it is very different. It's a very American golf course and in a way I didn't feel like I was defending, even though I was,” said Hall. “But yeah, this is kind of the first links golf course back. So I'm really excited. Like I said before, I love links golf. I only bring the 3-iron out once a year, and this is the week. I really enjoy hitting a 3-iron, so I can't wait.”
In a break from Hall’s usual European tradition, she will not have her dad Wayne carrying the bag this week due to the extra protocols required for COVID-19 safety. Instead, her boyfriend and usual caddie Harry Tyrrell will be by Hall’s side.
“Obviously, I would love for him to be caddying this week but it's very hard due to the COVID protocols and all the rules in place. It would have been a lot more hassle,” said Hall. “So he completely understands that it's a lot easier for me, as well to, have Harry caddying. This is Harry's first Women's Open and it's great for him to be on the bag. I love him being on the bag, and down the line when things can hopefully get back to normal, my dad will be back caddying at the Women's Open and one or two here or there like he normally does.”
Hall opens the AIG Women’s Open on Thursday at 8:09 a.m., playing with Nasa Hataoka and Nelly Korda.
KANG READY FOR MAJOR TEST
Danielle Kang spent time ahead of this week’s major championship checking out the course layout on Apple Maps, paying particular attention for the famed hole that has brought many a golfer to his or her knees.
“You just can't miss the green. I looked down on the right side, the left, and it's a small green and beautiful hole and it's short,” said Kang. “The yardage is very short but can't underestimate that wedge shot. I feel like you can't get too greedy and you just have to hit the green.”
Kang tied for fifth at last week’s Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open after winning the two LPGA Tour events before heading to Scotland. Despite what seems like a successful week, Kang said she found the experience to be tough, but a good prep for this week’s major challenge.
“Links golf, people know that it's just going to be a little bit slower greens, subtle breaks and accepting missed putts were a bit harder for me than normal,” said Kang. “Greens, I'm used to just kind of putting the way I do and if you miss 2-, 3-footers here and there, you freeze over them and that's what was tough for me last week. Other than that, I think I hit the ball quite well and went around the golf course pretty well. I'm really proud of how I took on links golf in general because my results in links golf hasn't been great, so a fifth finish is my highest finish.
Sitting second in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings, Kang aims to become the first American to hoist the AIG Women’s Open trophy since Mo Martin in 2014. She tees off at Thursday at 12:27 p.m., playing alongside Yu Liu and Lydia Ko.