Georgia Hall is thrilled to be back at the tournament where she made her name after she won the 2018 edition of the AIG Women’s Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes.
This year’s competition takes place at Walton Heath in Surrey and is the closest Hall, who is from Bournemouth, will ever get to playing at home and the 27-year-old is looking forward to the test that the heathland of the venue will provide.
“I think the setup is fantastic,” said Hall, who is this week’s guest on the LET Golf Podcast. “The condition is great, it’s playing quite soft and obviously the heather, the tee shots are the most important. You can’t get in that heather because it’s really tough to get out.
“I think if you hit straight drives, you have got a chance of scoring your way around here. There are bunkers out there that are a bit linksy that you need to avoid, otherwise, you’re just kind of chipping out.
“It plays how a major should play. They should be tougher than other events. It will be interesting to see what they do with the pins because you can tuck them in quite good spots out there, and the greens are running great.
“I think if you hit the fairway, you’ve got a good chance but I think we’ll see how the scoring is on Thursday and Friday, and then if they need to make it hard, I’m sure they will.
“It gives me that extra bit of confidence going into this week knowing that I’ve won and that I managed to get it done going down the stretch. Major championships are a lot different from normal events. It has that extra pressure, anyway.”
On Wednesday afternoon, the R&A announced an extension of the title sponsorship with AIG through 2030 and an increase in the total prize fund for 2023 to $9 million USD.
While it was also announced that the AIG Women’s Open will be returning to the scene of Hall’s maiden major in 2026.
The English star added: “Obviously, I’m extremely delighted to go back there. I really didn’t know whether we would be. I have very fond memories of winning there and look forward to going back there and playing at home again in a few years’ time.”
It is always a busy week for Hall who has many commitments to attend to, as well as taking time out for the fans who come out to watch her.
But Hall is always grateful for the support of people who come and cheer her on and was impressed with the crowds around during the Pro-Am.
She explained: “For this week, I know it’s a busy week and I have a lot of support around me, which is really great for me to have those people cheering on. Even today in the Pro-Am, I couldn’t believe the amount of people out there, so just very excited to get going tomorrow.
“This AIG Women’s Open is going to be the closest it’s ever going to be for me personally, so it’s just really nice to play near the London area. I really love playing at home and having home crowd cheering me on. I really enjoy it out there and I’m really happy when I’m out there playing golf. This is the most exciting event for me, even though it’s a busy one, it’s great to be a part of.”
Hall will be teeing it up in the first round at 12.27 pm (local time) alongside recent major winner Celine Boutier and 2021 Race to Costa del Sol champion Atthaya Thitikul.
And the two-time LET winner is hopeful that her group will have a strong crowd following them on the first two days.
“I’ve actually played quite a lot with Celine this year at various other tournaments,” she continued. “She beat me in a playoff earlier in the year, but she’s such a great, and she’s also my Solheim partner, so I know her game a lot. She’s just a really calm, chill person, and we get on really well, so obviously it’s great to play with her and Atthaya. Hopefully we’ll have a big crowd behind us.”