England's Georgia Hall claims first major victory at British Open

Georgia Hall waves to the home crowds after securing victory on the final hole at Lytham St Anne's. Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Home favourite Georgia Hall shot a near-perfect five under par final round to claim the Women's British Open title.

The world no. 39 from Bournemouth came from behind to overturn the lead held overnight by Thailand's Pornanong Phatlum.

At the age of 22, Hall -- who finished tied for third at last year's Open -- managed to record a first major title win and become just the fourth English winner of the tournament.

Phatlum had defied the odds to lead going into the final round on a sunny weekend at Royal Lytham St Anne's, and she played her part in a highly-entertaining final round fight for victory.

After they stepped onto the first tee it was all about the two leaders as they pushed each other on to a memorable contest.

It started from the outset, with Hall instantly applying pressure thanks to a fine clutch putt to make birdie at the first and take a share of the lead.

On Saturday Phatlum admitted she had been singing Thai pop songs in her head to remain calm and the world no. 97 showed good control of any nerves as she bounced straight back to re-take the outright lead with a birdie on the second.

Both players seemed to drive each other to greater heights and effectively made it a two-horse race as they excelled between the fourth and sixth.

Phatlum's advantage grew by a shot as she sunk a collection of fine putts for three birdies in a row, but Hall matched up to make two birdies of her own and stay in contention.

At the eighth Phatlum dropped a shot for just the second time all tournament when she bogeyed after veering right into deep rough off the tee.

World no. 39 Hall -- now back within one shot -- saved par brilliantly on the ninth after finding the bunker off her tee shot, to the delight of a home crowd growing in belief.

Both players then scrambled at the eleventh after going beyond the green with their approaches but Hall then began to make her move and went level again with a fine birdie on the thirteenth.

Both players played more fantastic golf on the fifteenth, sharing birdies after excellent approaches.

But Hall chose the perfect moment to showcase her best golf and took the lead at exactly the right moment, sinking a perfect 20-foot putt on the sixteenth after Phatlum had found the green-side bunker.

The decisive hole proved to be the seventeenth when Phatlum wilted under intense pressure as Hall's momentum began to look unstoppable.

The Thai player found the bunker from the tee then missed a makeable 4-foot putt to finish with a game-changing double bogey.

Hall finished up with her only bogey of the day on the eighteenth but never looked likely to allow her lead to slip and joined Dame Laura Davies, Allison Nicholls and Karen Stupples as an English-born winner of the British Open.

"I always joked to myself, because I haven't won a tournament since I turned pro, that the first one I win would be a major. I used to say that and I've actually done it now," Hall told reporters.

"I don't know what it is, but it is more enjoyable and fun the bigger the competition is.

"I was very confident going into this event from last year (equal third) and I love links golf and I'm playing in England, which is very rare."

Hall -- who was named in honour of the American state that hosts the Masters -- also revealed she had spoken to former Open winner Tom Lehman, who won at Lytham St Anne's in 1996.

"He texted me last night and said: 'Go Georgia, hit the fairways and greens and make your fair share of putts, I'm pulling for you.' It's great to have him as a friend," Hall said.

"I was more nervous yesterday than today. I didn't feel much until the 18th. I played some really good golf and holed a lot of crucial putts."