England's Georgia Hall, 22, showed grit and a steely nerve to win the Women's British Open with a superb final round of five-under 67 at Royal Lytham and St Annes yesterday morning (Singapore time).
After a solid first half of the year as an LPGA member, Hall earned her first top-10 finish at the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic last month, and she has now produced the finest performance of her career to win her maiden major title.
When Phatlum then found sand off the tee on the 17th and compounded the error by three-putting for a double bogey, Hall had the luxury of a three-shot lead and could easily afford her only bogey of the day on the 18th.
"It was nearly like matchplay at the end, and I enjoy that sort of golf", said Hall.
His daughter was born during the 1996 Masters won by English golfer Nick Faldo at Augusta, Georgia, and she was named as a tribute to that victory. The way Hall kept her composure and kept producing the shots of her life down the stretch, there might be more to come.
Hall joined Laura Davies, who won four, Alison Nicholas and Stupples as women's major winners from England.
The Bournemouth golfer is just the third home victor since it became a major in 2001, following Karen Stupples (2004) and Catriona Matthew (2009). That gap became four, though, when that pair both birdied the par-5 15th before Hall went to the top of the leaderboard for the first time all week when she holed a 20-footer for yet another birdie at the 16th and wasn't going to be denied thereafter. Two of them, So Yeon Ryu and Sung Hyun Park, had a chance to add a third major championship title to their lists of accomplishments.
Hall's victory comes one year after she finished T3 at the 2017 Ricoh Women's British Open at Kingsbarns.
Hall, therefore, enjoyed a three-shot buffer playing the last and was able to three-putt for bogey and still win by two, Phatlum saving par from the bunker to safely hold on to outright 2nd place. I am so happy.
From the moment Pornanong curled in a long left-to-right putt at the second hole to answer Hall's 15-foot birdie at the first, it had the makings of a duel under the Lytham sun.
Hull tapped in for a bogey - her first of the day - at the last hole to clinch a two-shot victory over Pornanong.
Tiger Woods, an eight-time victor at Firestone, started 11 shots behind and figured he would go out with a bang by playing aggressively.
McIlroy finished the back nine with consecutive bogeys and never recovered.
"Things could have certainly gone better", Woods said. She said: "Every Saturday and Sunday I played in the kids' club". Ian Poulter started three shots behind and shot 74.
"Winning this tournament has always been my goal for the year", Ryu said. Hisako Higuchi, victor of the LPGA Championship in 1977, remains the only Japanese player to win a major championship on either the PGA or LPGA Tours.