HOT prospect Georgia Hall admitted to having had mixed feelings after playing her way into contention in the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Royal Birkdale yesterday.
The Wallisdown-based teenager, who plays out of Parkstone, comfortably made the halfway cut in her third major after adding a level par 72 to her first round 73.
But it could have been so much better for the one-time Canford Kid who carded three birdies during a flawless front nine, her exploits leaving her just one shot off the lead.
Her outward 32 was the lowest score of any of the frontrunners – a fine achievement for the 18-year-old amateur in a field which includes the world’s leading professionals.
The former Oakmead School pupil reached the turn at two-under for the tournament, only to drop three shots on the back nine as she finished tied 16th heading into the final two rounds.
Bournemouth-born Hall, who hinted this could be her final tournament as an amateur and suggested she could turn pro in the next few weeks, bogeyed 13, 14 and the par-five 17th, a hole she had eagled in her first round.
Hall, who leads the British challenge heading into the final two rounds, told the Daily Echo: “Deep down, I was pretty disappointed. I made a few mistakes on the back nine but could not have played much better on the front.
"I didn’t get a bogey and was really pleased with my par on the first, especially after what had happened yesterday (when she carded a double bogey six).
“Overall, it was pretty good but I know it could have been better. I dropped some silly shots and should never have made bogey on 17. I tried to go for the green in two with a three-wood and pulled it into thick rough.”
Hall was one of only two amateurs to make the cut and will duel with America’s Emma Talley for the Smyth Salver Medal, a prize the Dorset ace shared last year with New Zealander Lydia Ko.
The battle between the two will see Hall, the 2013 British Amateur champion, go head to head with Talley, who won the US equivalent last year. Hall beat Talley, who also made the cut at one-over, in the opening fourballs at the Curtis Cup last month.
“To be honest, I’m not too bothered about the silver medal,” said Hall. “If I play like I did on the front nine and shoot three-under or even level, I am still going to be up there. I want to get as close as possible to first place.
“I’m pretty happy with the way I’m playing so we will just have to see how the weekend pans out. I am in the top 15 now and will try to improve on that.”
Asked about turning pro, Hall said: “I was debating whether to turn pro last year but wanted to play in the Curtis Cup and thought I would get an invite for this. Hopefully, it will happen in a couple of weeks. There are a few things to sort out but it’s looking all right.”