Georgia Hall reveals she ‘would love to see Tommy Fleetwood win The Open’, explains why tennis star Serena Williams is her role model and insists ‘it is a joy to watch’ Tiger Woods back in action – but claims coverage of the women’s game is not good enough
- The 150th Open Championship will be held at St Andrews from 14-17 July
- Georgia Hall has Tommy Fleetwood, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy as her picks
- The English player won the Women’s Open at Lytham and St Anne’s in 2018
- She named Serena Williams, Suzann Pettersen and Woods as her role models
Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy will undoubtedly be the centre of attention at St Andrews but women’s star Georgia Hall is backing someone a little closer to home as she names Englishman Tommy Fleetwood among her picks.
Hall clinched her first major title in the Women’s Open at Lytham and St Anne’s in 2018 with a two-shot lead over Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum, so she knows a thing or two about what it takes to win an Open.
The 26-year-old, like most golf fans who will be watching the action at the 150th Open Championship, has Woods and McIlroy among her favourites for the event but she also believes it is time for compatriot Fleetwood to shake off his slump.
Georgia Hall is backing Tommy Fleetwood for the 150th Open alongside Tiger Woods
The 2018 Open winner believes it is time for Fleetwood (above) to shake off his slump
Speaking to Sportsmail in support of The 150th Open Championship Claret Jug Tour, she says: ‘Obviously, I love Tiger and Rory. But I spent a bit of time with Tommy Fleetwood a couple weeks ago and he’s a really nice guy.
‘I know he’s been struggling a bit but I think it would be a great time for him to win. I’d love to see him well.’
It feels strange to be talking to one of the leading players of the women’s game about a men’s major but Hall reveals she is a big supporter of the work the R&A is doing leading up to this year’s Open.
Tiger Woods (right) and Rory McIlroy (left) will undoubtedly be the centre of attention at St Andrews
Hall has been involved in The 150th Open Championship Claret Jug Tour and reveals it has been a great opportunity to witness firsthand the work that is going on to encourage younger players to take to the course.
‘I’m a big supporter of the R&A and what they’ve done for me growing up,’ she says.
‘What they’re doing with the Claret Jug, touring it around is fantastic. I don’t think they have really done that before introducing it to schools and to actually see it firsthand is incredible.
‘I wish I got that chance when I was younger. I think it just encourages more younger players to the game.’
But of course, despite the recent progress, there is still a long way to go to see women’s golf find the same footing.
When asked what more can be done Hall responds: ‘Obviously more coverage would be great. We get to showcase our talent.
‘I see a lot of young girls come to watch. And just to spend time with them as well [is great], I’ve been at the clinics before where I’ve met so many girls at St Andrews and at the junior program they have up there.
‘I think the more things like that the better, so they know that they’re not alone, that just because some of their friends don’t do it, doesn’t mean it’s not enjoyable.’
‘I don’t think it [women’s golf] is getting enough coverage in the UK. I’ve seen it before when we’re on the highlights at midnight and I think for the UK players the AIG Open is potentially the biggest event in the world.
Hall spoke to Sportsmail in support of the 150th Open Championship Claret Jug Tour
‘We deserve to be on the TV at prime time. There are so many people attending the events and those who can’t should be able to watch it on the TV.
‘I get so many comments from people saying they wish they would have watched it on the TV. I hope it gets better from that point of view.’
In August, the Women’s AIG Open will be heading to Muirfield after being held at Carnoustie in 2021 and Hall claims it is about time they are playing such a prestigious event on championship courses.
‘We deserve to play on the best courses in the world and that’s what AIG is also bringing to the event,’ she says.
‘Muirfield has never been done before. They had the men there and now we are coming. It just keeps making the game better every year.
The English player won her first major at the women’s Open at Lytham and St Anne’s in 2018
‘It’s definitely one hundred percent [been a long time coming], but better late then never, I suppose. I’m excited to have it there and people to watch us there.’
Her participation in the R&A’s initiatives to promote girl’s golf amid her own triumphs on the course has seen her become a role model.
Hall insists it means a lot to her to be an example for the future generation of golfing stars.
She says: ‘I think it’s very important to have role models in whatever you do in life and.
‘I certainly had a couple growing up. It’s great to help kids first spur them on and see their dreams do come true.
‘So, it means a lot to me being a role model to them and I try and do whatever I can and I spend time to help encourage them.’
When asked who her own role models were growing up a trio of golf’s biggest stars across the women’s and men’s game feature but a slightly suspiring name makes the list.
‘For me it was Serena Williams, Suzann Pettersen, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy,’ she says. ‘They were the four for me.
Hall named tennis star Serena Williams (pictured) as one of her role models growing up
‘Even though Serena is from tennis, it doesn’t really matter what sport. It’s about seeing what they can do and where they come from and what they can achieve.’
Tiger Woods has been an inspiration for a whole generation – if not multiple – of golfers and his recent feat has only elevated his status as an icon.
Woods made an astonishing comeback at the Masters in April when he returned to play just 14 months after his horror car crash, that could have cost him his leg, and Hall believes he is a credit to the sport.
‘It’s incredible,’ she says. ‘It’s such a joy to watch. I know TV figures went up so much more because of it and because of him in general – what he has done for the game. He took it to another level for all of us. I’m very grateful for that.’
But Woods is not the only one of Hall’s role models that is looking to achieve heroics this year.
Solheim Cup legend Suzann Pettersen will captain Team Europe in Andalucia, Spain in 2023
Solheim Cup legend Pettersen, who holed the winning clutch putt at Gleneagles in 2019, will captain Team Europe in Andalucia, Spain in 2023 and Hall insists it would be an honour to play on the Norwegian’s team.
When asked if Pettersen will make a good captain, Hall enthuses: ‘A hundred percent.
‘She is motivating and that’s what you need for a Solheim Cup. I think she will put lot of effort in. She’s going do a great job as well. It will be an honour to play for her.’
Georgia Hall is supporting The 150th Open Championship Claret Jug Tour, in partnership with HSBC UK.
The tour will visit schools, golf clubs, city centres and HSBC branches.
The famous trophy will work its way across the UK and Ireland, finishing at St Andrews for The 150th Open in July.
Georgia Hall is supporting The 150th Open Championship Claret Jug Tour, in partnership with HSBC UK
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