TEEN sensation Georgia Hall insists she only possesses a slender advantage in her quest to become the first English player in 42 years to defend the Ladies’ British Open Amateur Championship.
The Parkstone golfer secured the title at Machynys Peninsula, South Wales last year as a hole-in-one at the par-three 17th helped her earn a one-up match play victory over Spain’s Luna Sobron.
Attempting to replicate Mickey Walker’s back-to-back wins in 1971 and 1972, the 18-year-old begins her defence at Royal St George’s in Kent tomorrow.
Two days of stroke play will whittle down to 64 the 144-strong field ahead of the match play phase, culminating in an 18-hole final where the winner earns a place in next month’s Women’s British Open and September’s Evian Championship.
And while Hall is confident her dramatic win in 2013 will provide her with useful experience, she believes the competition will be contested on a level playing field.
Hall told the Daily Echo: “The only real advantage I have is that I know how long the competition is and what needs to be done, but other than that it’s the same for everyone.
“There are a lot of matches crammed into five days. It’s such a long week if you do get to the final and I will have to make sure I take each day as it comes.
“Everyone knows that if you play one bad shot – especially in match play – you’re out of the tournament.
“I’m not aware of anyone winning it twice in a row recently so it’s not something people are doing regularly.
“I’m going to take it as a separate competition to last year and if I win it two years in a row then that’s great.”
Hall, who impressed for Great Britain and Ireland in the Curtis Cup earlier this month, takes on the likes of world top-five amateurs Su-Hyun Oh and Brooke Henderson at Sandwich.
And she will do so with a new set of clubs in the bag after switching her preference to Titleist a matter of days ago.
Hall added: “I have been looking forward to using my new clubs as I’ve only had them a week. They go quite a bit further so I will need to adapt to that quite a bit.
“When I played the course in practice it was very difficult, but it’s the same for everyone.
“There are a lot of blind shots, it’s quite long and the wind can get up. The pin positions and the grain are tricky as well, so there’s plenty to think about.”