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August 1, 2019

Georgia Hall

Milton Keynes, United Kingdom

Q. An amazing performance out there, 3-under 69 coming back as defending champion. I'm going to start straight at the beginning. A lot of talk, a lot of anticipation. Just describe the emotions and what you were feeling on the first tee.
GEORGIA HALL: I walked to the first tee and I got so much applause from everybody, it was so nice to be there, and I was actually quite nervous, so I was relieved to hit the fairway.

Q. Nice crowd reaction, as well. What did it feel like just to absorb that?
GEORGIA HALL: It's incredible. It's already the highlight of my year. I've had this much support since this time last year, and I think that most of the people out there were out there to support me. It's just an amazing feeling.

Q. At 4, punched little right-to-lefter; how did you play this one?
GEORGIA HALL: Yeah, I'm not a fan of that tee shot. I had an okay lie, and I thought if I punch a little 6-iron up there, hopefully it will run around, like it is, and yeah, finished just off the back of the green and managed to get a par there.

Q. 7, we know how well you putted a year ago. If you're going to go on to defend, you need this club to be working like this.
GEORGIA HALL: Yeah, my pace count was really good today, and I was happy there because I missed a few 15-footers beforehand, so my long game was really good. Quite a steady round.

Q. Just a word on the overall condition of the golf course. All the players have been saying fabulous in terms of preparation how it's set up coming in.
GEORGIA HALL: Yeah, it's incredible. It's probably the best I've seen this course and one of the best conditions we play all year, so it was really lovely to kind of experience this course. And I actually thought the greens were slightly quicker. I left a few short the first few holes, but they roll amazing.

Q. 17, wonderful to get out of here with a 3.
GEORGIA HALL: Yeah, I hit my tee shot, and I fatted it short of the green, and I said to my dad, that's right, wanted that one. And that was a great clutch putt for me. I didn't have many long par putts today, so I was very happy I holed that.

Q. Overall in terms of results stateside, the top 10 obviously coming in January, but coming back here do you feel like amazing memories, amazing support, the impetus that this week, being back as defending champion can give you to have a great week and then kick off?
GEORGIA HALL: Yeah, I see it as I've done the hard part of the year travelling to the States, coming in here and jet lagged. But now this is my home event, and I love defending and I love the home crowd. I really feel quite relaxed, especially the back nine, and look forward to the rest of the week.

Q. Not a blemish on your scorecard out there. What were your streaks this opening round?
GEORGIA HALL: Well, I definitely had three birdies, felt good today, and I played pretty steady, and obviously happy not to get a bogey out there. I nearly did on 17, but I managed to hole a good putt.

Q. You come in here as defending champion, a lot of eyes on you. How did you manage the external and internal expectations coming into this championship?
GEORGIA HALL: Yeah, I had an afternoon tee time today, so I had a lot of comments on social media this morning. When I went on the first tee, I saw everybody was there supporting me, and of course the nerves were there, but I was so excited to get going.

Q. Excitement and putting it all together and staying in the process, is it easy to compartmentalise emotions as a player?
GEORGIA HALL: Yeah, it's quite hard because you want to take in the moment. I really tried, but you also want to stay in your little bubble and kind of focus and make one shot at a time. But I couldn't believe the amount of crowds out there. It was like a final round amount.

Q. Do you get a sense of how the tempo of this championship will be over the next three days?
GEORGIA HALL: Yeah, I mean, I think I'm just going to stick to my game and hopefully I'll get a lot of support out there tomorrow morning. Quite an early tee time. But I think it's mostly just staying patient and focus on your own shot.

Q. (Inaudible.)
GEORGIA HALL: I was so happy, I played really well. Didn't really make a mistake, and I holed some good putts, so I'm very happy today.

Q. You had quite a bit of time to wait before your tee-off today. I imagine it was something that you were really looking forward to doing, getting back out there in defense of your British Open title. Can you describe what it was like walking on to that tee with the crowds behind you?
GEORGIA HALL: Yeah, it feels like it's been quite a while, but then I walked on that tee, and it took me back to last year, and it was so nice to get so much support, and I'm just so excited to be able to play at home, have my home comforts around and have my family watch, too.

Q. Do you feed off that support that you get out there?
GEORGIA HALL: Yeah, definitely. I think I want to play well for all those people watching for me, too, so I think it really helps when they cheer when I make even a three-, four-footer, so it's really nice.

Q. It's a different pressure coming in this year as opposed to 12 months ago. How have you dealt with that, and can you detach the emotional side of this week?
GEORGIA HALL: I think it's important for me to take all the emotions in and really enjoy it. I loved it out there today. I had a lot of fun, and I just said to myself, just go out there and enjoy it, and I did, and I just loved having so much support.

Q. A great confidence-building start for you, but coming here as defending champion, does it give you a lift? Does it give you an extra spring, if you like, in your step out there knowing that you know how to win this event and win major events?
GEORGIA HALL: Yeah, definitely. I think in any major, from me already winning one, gives me that extra confidence that I can hole a putt when I need to, and like I said, being at home playing a couple miles away from where I live and having extra support of my family and all the crowds, it's just amazing.

Q. And getting in your own bed at night, that's the dream, isn't it.
GEORGIA HALL: Yeah, and car. My own car, but yeah, I've still got to stay close, but it's not too far away, so brilliant.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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