A summer of celebrations: Women’s Open champions reflect on being at the center of The 150th Open festivities
Anna Nordqvist and Georgia Hall are no strangers to major success, having won the 2021 and 2018 Women’s Open, respectively. Little did they know then that their success would lead to even more unforgettable experiences – like playing in the R&A’s Celebration of Champions at the 150th Open at the Old Course.
“It was awesome, just to be part of that,” Hall said on Wednesday, ahead of the Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open. “To have four or five female winners play is very special and really big for women’s golf.”
Seven women total participated in the event, which saw past Open champions and special guests play the 1st, 2nd, 17th and 18th holes as teams.
Hall was bestowed easily the most notable grouping: Rory McIlroy, Lee Trevino and, the biggest name of them all, Tiger Woods.
“It was one of my dreams to play with Tiger, and I’m definitely going to get that picture framed sooner rather than later for sure and definitely one of the best moments of my career.” Hall continued, “I never thought I would get a chance, to be honest, especially as he is kind of getting to the end of his career and at St. Andrews – probably the last time he’ll be there. I was just trying to make contact with the ball on the first tee.”
When you go from admiring athletes to playing alongside them, as a major champion in your own right, it’s definitely a pinch yourself moment, but Hall also took the opportunity to learn from Woods and McIlroy.
“I looked at [Tiger’s] putting quite a lot because he’s an unreal putter. It’s nice to get some tips from Rory as well,” Hall said.
The reigning AIG Women’s Open champion, Nordqvist played with the then-reigning Open champion Collin Morikawa.
“I’ve never been to a men’s major before, and just having the VIP access, getting to go inside the ropes and to player dining, I felt very uncomfortable because I felt so out of place,” Nordqvist said. “But we don’t get to see the guys a lot, so it was nice to catch up with a lot of the guys that I know and just see them.”
It was just the start of an exciting stretch for Nordqvist, who will defend her title next week before finally getting married the week after that.
“My mind is a little bit everywhere at the moment, but we’ve been planning this thing since, what, December 2018 when we got engaged. Been postponed two years because of COVID,” the Swedish player said. “Obviously, very excited. I’ve had my dress for a good almost three years now. I hope it still fits in two weeks. I’ve got to lay off the candy here.”