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August 12, 2020

Georgia Hall

North Berwick, Scotland, UK

The Renaissance Club

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Welcoming Georgia Hall, thanks very much for coming in. Talk a little about how you're finding the course today and how it is to be back in Scotland.

GEORGIA HALL: Yeah, I played 18 at 7.40 this morning. Weather is absolutely perfect. Got around fairly quickly. It's a bit different this year because the course has changed around nines and some holes kind of swapped. So just getting used that to that, really. I noticed that the roughs are much longer this year compared to last. But yeah, I can't wait to get going and tee it up tomorrow.

THE MODERATOR: So one of the reasons they changed the last few holes of the course to make the back nine totally spectacular was to showcase Gullane. Do you think it worked?

GEORGIA HALL: Yeah, definitely. I think the back nine now is the hardest, and I think it's a great last few holes. Anything can really happen. So yeah, we'll see how it plays. But the course condition is great as always.

THE MODERATOR: And so through lockdown you've been working and practising until the courses opened and then you had a hot start playing on the Rose Ladies Series where you had two wins. Can you talk about how you got your game in shape so quickly to be competitive?

GEORGIA HALL: Yeah, obviously those tournaments helped, even though they are a one-day. I could feel a little bit of pressure and it gave me something to practise for every week. Obviously I had three or four months off before that to practise and work on my game and I feel I've done a pretty good job.

So yeah, I was very consistent throughout those Rose Series, and played pretty well, so I'm quite confident going into this week.

THE MODERATOR: How were you staying competitive?

GEORGIA HALL: It's easy to practise as much as possible but until you have a card in your hand, you can't really tell how good your game; especially mentally, as well.

So I was nervous playing the first Rose Series event just to get back into it after three months. I was just making my practise a bit more strict, setting myself targets and things like that that kind of kept me going throughout lockdown, and then obviously the Rose Series, I tried to take as much from that as possible and really worked hard on my game true the last six weeks.

I'm so happy to be in Scotland and to only just drive up for my first event. It's great for me, and yeah, I'm very confident in the way I'm hitting it. I had a good last look at the course today and played well, so anything can happen around links golf, and the weather, it can change just in ten minutes. We have to try and be prepared for anything and see how we go.

THE MODERATOR: And links golf is your favourite?

GEORGIA HALL: Yeah, I only get to play it a couple times a year. So whenever that chance does come around, I try to make the most of it the best I can, and I think that it's a lot of fun playing links golf. It's kind of the natural way to play.

Q. Pretty spectacular weather overnight with the thunderstorms in the area. Did the course hold up to the rain that came down?

GEORGIA HALL: Yeah, the course is pretty good. The greens are slightly on the slow side, but they were yesterday, as well, but the thing is, they can't make them that fast in case it's really windy. Then it would be quite unplayable.

It's like I would expect, and fairly slow, and the fairways, the rough's fine.

Q. They made some changes getting the course ready, trees in a particular. Do you think there's a more linksy feel to the course than last year?

GEORGIA HALL: Yeah, I would say slightly. I notice going down 18 they took a massive tree out on the right, which caused a lot of problems for players. So I think we're quite happy to let that one go, and obviously made it definitely seem more linksy. You can definitely hit it out further on the right on your tee shot now.

It's definitely a links feel. We haven't actually played in much wind yet, so I think when the wind gets up, it will definitely feel a bit more like that.

Q. Just to follow up on what Martin had said about the weather last night, it's been a crazy few days when you think about unprecedented electrical storms in Edinburgh and wildfires at Wentworth over the weekend, as well. Can you talk about both and what you saw?

GEORGIA HALL: Yeah, obviously I played in the grand final of the Rose Series. I was halfway down the 7th hole and you could just see so much smoke coming in. The hole, wherever you looked, it was so orange and there was like black ashes just floating all around us, which was very strange, and then obviously we had to evacuate. So it was a shame that we couldn't finish.

But I think it was about 20 yards from the actual 9th or 10th tee box, which they got extremely close. It was massive. I've never seen anything like that before.

Yeah, last night, I remember getting back to the hotel and it was nonstop. You could see it through the curtain. So I didn't know whether we were going to have some of that this morning because I was out very early, but luckily we didn't really -- there was a bit of thunder but it was quite a way away. The weather's been very strange for me the past kind of ten days, but I'm hoping it stays kind of normality throughout this week for the tournament.

Q. How scary was that moment on the 7th at Wentworth?

GEORGIA HALL: Yeah, I mean, we could see it was massive smoke, and then by the time we get really near, there was kind of no one still there. I didn't quite know what it was but then it must have been like a forest fire kind of thing. I've never seen nothing like it.

Yeah, we just had to evacuate, and luckily we didn't have that long a walk in to the clubhouse, but it was very strange.

Q. Curious what it's like, from what I understand, you can't go out to dinner or go to takeaway. What's the situation on food, sort of what you've been doing waiting on your test results, I know that probably took a while, too.

GEORGIA HALL: Yeah, it's very important subject, food. We had to take our test obviously and wait a long time. I think mine was about seven hours. Luckily I got that and then I could go to the golf course.

But for food, yeah, we've just got to drive to the hotel and stay in the hotel. We can obviously get the food the hotel serve or we get delivery or Uber Eats from like the local restaurants, so that's always good.

I've had kind of room service and the restaurant food for the past two nights. A lot of people have been getting mandays, which is very popular in the U.K., so I think I'm going to get that tonight. It's kind of the main event after everyone's finished golf because that's all we can really do.

Q. What did you do for the seven hours?

GEORGIA HALL: Well, I had just driven up from Bournemouth, so it took about eight hours to drive. So I think I arrived at like 3.00 and then unpacked. I had to check in and everything, unpacked. Watched a couple of Netflix episodes and then I think I went to sleep. So I got it throughout the night and then I could wake up and go to the club.

Q. How closely were you following what was going on in Toledo for two weeks in terms of the number of positive results and just sort of how the process was going along? I assume you'll be coming over to the States at some point.

GEORGIA HALL: Yeah, I'm actually going on the charter flight back after the British. Yeah, obviously I did want to look quite closely about what was going on in two weeks. Bronte, my other kind of English friend, was obviously over there, so I spoke to her a little bit.

Obviously from watching it on TV and everything, it was extremely successful. I think all the players are aware they need to social distance and be sensible. From what I heard, it went down very well, and I look forward to competing back on the LPGA in the US.

Q. I don't know how much you're aware of this but the Scottish government yesterday named golf as one of the sports that was potentially put at risk by the actions of the footballers in Scotland who broke kind of lockdown restrictions over the last week and the return of elite sport. First question is: How much were you aware of that unfolding situation, given you're playing obviously big tournaments in Scotland?

GEORGIA HALL: No, that's the first time I've heard about it. So, what, were the footballers playing golf?

Q. No. The Scottish Premiership, first elite-level sport to come back in Scotland and some of the footballers breached lockdown restrictions and a couple tested positive for coronavirus and the government said yesterday that the Scottish footballers had a responsibility to all sports, not just football, because obviously their actions effectively put those tournaments and return to sport at risk. Given you're playing in Scotland, wonder if that's much of a concern, but I suppose if you don't know about it, probably not?

GEORGIA HALL: No, I don't think it's a concern and golf and football couldn't be more extreme, opposite sports. We're outside all the time and don't actually have to be near anyone, playing our own ball and don't have to make contact with anyone.

Yeah, it's very well-run here, and the team and everyone's doing a great job to enforce all those rules that we need to be doing, so I think it's going pretty well.

Q. We've seen a lot already of elite men's sport return in varying fashions over the last few week. How important is it that we see elite women's sport like you guys come back on, and for it to be broadcast across the world?

GEORGIA HALL: Yeah, I think it's a great opportunity to showcase women's golf in general, especially as a lot of sports aren't happening yet.

If we can get some great home-base players doing well and on the leaderboard, I think it will be televised, and hopefully we can see a lot more of the younger generation watch us and see us on TV. It's a shame the fans and people can't come and spectate this week, but it's also good they can watch on TV.

I think it's a great opportunity this week and next week at the Women's Open to showcase how good we are, but it's great just for golf to be back in general, as well.

Q. How important is your performance on the course this week ahead of the huge tournament that's coming up next week?

GEORGIA HALL: Yeah, everyone always targets majors, but this is one of my favourite events of the year because it's so close to home and I love playing links golf. So I don't really treat it as like a warmup for next week. Both are just as important.

This is my first kind of main event back, so I do want to get off to a good start but I'm not putting any pressure on myself. I'll just go out there and stay calm and let kind of all my practise do the work.

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