As if the European Order of Merit leader needed any further motivation than a second Major title and the US$577,500 winner’s portion of the US$3.85 million prize fund, fellow Brit Justin Rose’s ascendancy to the top of the world rankings has reminded the recent Ricoh Women’s British Open champion that the World No.1 spot is firmly within her sights.
“I congratulated him this morning. I think it’s incredible, and it was a really nice tweet he wrote as well. I said this morning it would be amazing if an English man and woman were world No. 1. I think that would be incredible. He’s a great role model to look up to in England.”
World No.1 has always been part of Hall’s long-term plans and she has been patiently achieving her intermediate goals. “Since I turned pro four years ago I didn’t really look at that as the ultimate goal, but I had little goals to kind of accomplish before that. Obviously now I’m 8th and it’s definitely the kind of main goal in any mind.”
“Solheim is next year as well. So obviously I’m in a good position now, but it’s still a year to go and a lot of golf. Solheim was an amazing experience for me last year, and I would love to be on the team and play very well next year for Catriona and Europe. You know, every time it’s a Solheim year it’s always a big year for both European and American players.”
The fact that Hall finished tied for ninth on her Evian Championship debut last year has given her additional confidence heading into this Major week. Her boyfriend Harry Tyrrell is back on the bag, after her father Wayne’s cameo as caddie during her maiden triumph at Royal Lytham and she has since notched a tie for 28th in the CP Women’s Open and a runner-up spot in the Cambia Portland Classic, taking her up to 12th on the Race to the CME Globe.
“If I’m in that similar position again I don’t think I’ll feel as nervous, which is nice to know. I love coming back to this event. This is my second year playing in it. I managed to have a top 10 last year, so I look forward to teeing up on Thursday.
“It’s nice that I kind of know the golf course a bit better. I think course management is key. There are some tricky tee shots, and definitely putting the ball in the right part of the green. There are about ten slopes on each green, and definitely don’t want to be to the wrong side of the pin.”
Speaking about her new status as a Major winner and her activities over the last month, she added: “I had probably a week off and spent it with family and friends and stuff. Hasn’t been too bad. A lot more interviews and things which comes with it. I’ve just been enjoying it and enjoying being at home. Apart from that, I don’t think a lot has changed.
“It was very important to me to play well after the British Open. I wanted to back up the win, so to come second the last event I played, it kind of meant more to me than it probably looked like to come second in an LPGA event, but it was great for me. I putted really well. I think my game is in good shape. I had four, five days off last week so I feel kind of fresh coming into this event.”
“Obviously it’s very important to me and I would love to win this event also, like back-to-back majors. I like challenges and that’s why I wanted to play well after the British, keep going that way. That’s just how I think.”
The first round of the Evian Championship gets under way on Thursday from 7.30am and Hall will tee off at 12.59am with fellow major winners Sung Hyun Park (KMPG Women’s Open champion) and Ariya Jutanugarn (US Women’s Open champion), the respective women’s world number one and two.