Georgia Hall was delighted to take advantage of calm Carnoustie conditions on the opening day of the 2021 AIG Women’s Open as her bid for a second Championship got off to a strong start.
Three years on from her memorable triumph at Royal Lytham & St Annes, Hall reeled off six birdies in a four-under first round of 68 which leaves her just one shot adrift of the clubhouse leaders going into day two.
She could have joined the pacesetters in a share for the lead were it not for a bogey at the last but the 25-year-old was more than content with her day’s work in conditions that, while being somewhat on the cool side, lacked much threat in the way of wind.
“I played very well,” she said. “I haven’t got a lot to complain about and I was very happy with the way I played.
“I was level par on the last three holes and I would take level par on the last three every day.
“I managed to take advantage of very good conditions out there without a lot of wind, so I’m very happy with today.
“It wasn’t windy all day, stayed pretty consistent and dried up a bit this afternoon. I’m sure the weather will throw something at us pretty soon but I’ll try and be as prepared as I can for that.
“I quite like the wind. I’m not a big fan of the rain but you do expect that playing in the Open. We’ll see what happens.”
Hall birdied two of the three par-3s in style, holing a long-range putt at the eighth before tapping in following a superb tee shot at 16.
The latter was her fourth birdie in a strong back nine which did not feature a dropped shot until the 18th, with Hall and fellow home favourite Louise Duncan spurred on by a sizable crowd throughout.
Women’s Amateur Champion Duncan also signed for a 68 after a memorable opening day and Hall felt they brought the best out of each other.
“It’s the first time I’ve met Louise and we got on great,” she said. “She’s a really nice person and played very well so I’m happy for her.
“There were a lot of people following and it’s always nice to have home fans cheering you on.
“It took me a little while to get going after five or six holes but after that I was pretty settled in, pretty relaxed and managed to have a good back nine.”
Hall, Duncan and Megan Khang – who will resume on +5 despite a fine eagle at the 12th – have an early start on Friday, with the trio getting underway at 7.14am.