British Open: Georgia Hall claims first major victory

Georgia Hall of England reeled in long-time leader Pornanong Phatlum in a final-round duel at Royal Lytham to win the Women's British Open for her first major title on Sunday.

She became the first English player of either sex to win a major at Royal Lytham since Tony Jacklin won the 1969 British Open.

Georgia Hall poses with the trophy after winning the 2018 Women's British Open Golf Championships at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club, north west England, on August 5, 2018.

New Zealand golfer Lydia Ko is five shots back of the lead at the halfway point of the British Open.

Yes, there is something about that wonderful Lancashire links which lends itself to heart-warming home storylines and there can be no doubt this success fits that billing.

Hall, who had never previously tasted victory on either the Ladies European Tour or LPGA Tour, carded six birdies in a closing 67 to finish on 17 under par, two shots ahead of Thailand's Pornanong Phatlum. It was very close up until the final two holes, so I was just trying to hole the putts.

Hall finished up with her only bogey of the day on the eighteenth but never looked likely to allow her lead to slip and joined Dame Laura Davies, Allison Nicholls, Catriona Matthew and Karen Stupples as a British-born victor of the British Open.

It started from the outset, with Hall instantly applying pressure thanks to a fine clutch putt to make birdie at the first and take a share of the lead. But she only had one more birdie the rest of the day (at No. 15) and had a bogey on 8 before a disastrous double-bogey on the par-4, 17th hole dropped her three shots back of Hall.

"I was lucky to hold the golf club", she said of the nerves that suddenly made their presence felt at the last. I didn't feel much until the 18th.

"I was more nervous yesterday than today. That's going to stand her in really good stead".

Phatlum, seeking to join compatriot Ariya Jutanugarn (U.S. Women's Open) as a major champion this year, hit a series of loose drives down the stretch. She earned $490,000 for the victory.

"She is from here and everyone is rooting for her".