London - Georgia Hall hopes her Women's British Open victory
will inspire girls to turn to golf and help attract new sponsors to the Ladies
The 22-year-old English player claimed her first major by
two strokes at Royal Lytham and St Annes on Sunday, seeing off the challenge of
Thailand's Pornanong Phatlum.
"I couldn't believe so many young girls and boys were
watching me, wanting a picture or an autograph," she said.
"Hopefully I can encourage a lot of young girls out
there to take up the game. I want to be a good role model for young girls in
Hall, who took home a cheque for $490 000, is keen to see
the wider benefits of her moment in the spotlight.
"I hope it will bring more sponsorship to the Ladies
European Tour," she said. "It's definitely growing and I try to
support them when I can. I'm still a member and it's my home.
"I had to miss roughly three majors because I couldn't
afford to get there, which was frustrating as I'd qualified. As an amateur it's
hard but I knew if I played well that could get me to these places."
Before the tournament started, British veteran Laura Davies
called for more financial backing for European women's golf, saying players are
short of tournaments to hone their skills.
Hall earned glowing praise for the steely determination she
displayed during her final round and admitted she worked hard to keep her
emotions in check.
"I do get very excited and it's because I want it so
much," she said. "I promised myself if I got in this position I
wouldn't get too carried away, focus on every shot and take one shot at a time.
"To go down 18 and manage to close it out fairly easily
is a relief for me. Golf is a very mental sport, more than people even think.
So it was kind of a battle yesterday.
"It's my fourth year on tour as a professional and
loads of people were asking when was it (a tournament win) going to come.
"I knew if I stayed patient and kept working hard I
could win and it would come along."