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How Bournemouth's Georgia Hall became Europe's best female golfer
LIKE most 17-year-old girls, Georgia Hall loves shopping for clothes. The talented teenager from Wallisdown, however, is no ordinary girl.
Victory in the ladies’ British Amateur Championship on Saturday saw Georgia re-establish herself as the leading woman in Europe.
She is also expected to break into the top three in the world amateur rankings when they are updated at noon tomorrow.
It is some achievement for the Bournemouth-born youngster who got the golfing bug as a seven-year-old when her father Wayne took her to the driving range at Canford Magna.
“I enjoyed it so much, I asked to go back,” said Georgia, who enrolled on the Canford Kids scheme under Martin Cummins, now her putting coach.
“I have always been very competitive and, if you won a competition at Canford, you got a chocolate bar. I won five Snickers one day and ate them all on the way home!”
At nine, Georgia’s handicap was 31. Today, she plays off plus-four.
A member at both Remedy Oak and Parkstone, Georgia recently gave up her studies at Oakmead College to focus on achieving her lifetime ambition – turning pro.
“I’ll be ready for the tour school in December,” said Georgia, who also attended Elmrise Primary School. “It will be tough but I will just treat it as a normal competition and see where it takes me.
“If I finish in the top 25 in the world amateur rankings, I will go straight through to final qualifying. Then, you need to finish in the top 30 over four rounds to win a card for the European Tour.
“Turning professional has been my ambition ever since I was seven. I have had a good couple of years as an amateur and winning at the weekend has made me more determined to make the grade.”
Georgia crossed paths with Norwegian Suzann Pettersen, her golfing idol, when she competed in her first major in April after being invited to play in the Kraft Nabisco Championship at Mission Hills in California.
Although she missed the cut, locking horns with some of the game’s greats was a memorable 17th birthday present and Saturday’s victory has earned her exemption into three other majors – the Open at St Andrews in August, the US Open in New York later this month and the Evian in September.
“I just want to try to make the cut in all the majors and get as much experience as possible for when I try to turn pro,” added Georgia. “That is my first aim. Then, I want to start winning majors – quite a few if possible!”
Georgia, who was keen to thank Remedy Oak for their support, enjoys all sports and follows the fortunes of Cherries. Younger sister Charlie, 15, plays football for Southampton, while brother Lewis, 12, plays for Poppies.
“I’ve got a busy schedule during the season but I will always find time for shopping though!” she laughed. “My favourite place is Westfield in London. It has got three floors and every shop you could dream of!”
Georgia, who may play for GB & Ireland in the Vagliano Trophy rather than compete in the US Open, has had the full backing of her parents, father Wayne, who is a plasterer, and mother Samantha, a hairdresser.
Wayne said: “We are very proud of her. She is a great girl and is getting better every year. She is also getting keener which isn’t always the case with youngsters of her age. When she first started playing, I thought she would be a good player but nowhere near this standard. We have encouraged but not pushed her and she has always enjoyed her golf.”
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