Golf Australia

Rankings boost holds Hall in good stead

Ashley Hall

Few players worldwide improved their world rankings as much as Melbourne’s Ashley Hall in 2016.

Hall leapt more than 700 places and ended the year inside the top 300 courtesy of a runner-up finish to American Jordan Spieth at the Emirates Australian Open and then fourth at the Australian PGA Championship the following week.

Now ranked 279 in the world, the 33-year-old arrives at 13th Beach Golf Links for this week’s Oates Vic Open among the leading contenders for the men’s title.

He’s keen to add his name to the trophy for the second time, having previously hoisted it in 2009.

“I’d love to get my name on it again,” Hall declared.

“Especially now that it’s a Tier 1 tournament in Australia. It means a lot to me – I said that when I won it back in 2009 – having played junior golf and senior golf in the state. It’s a real special place.”

Hall finished tied for 38th last year but it was the first time he had played the tournament in its existing format with both the men and women playing alongside each other at the Barwon Heads layout.

“I think it’s great,” Hall said. “We men are happy that the women are here because there’s more interest and the sponsors probably get behind it more.

“We’re both now playing for pretty great purses really.

“I’m a big believer in anything that generates interest in tournaments is a great thing for golf and we’re pretty lucky to have a place like 13th Beach that can host it.

“I remember playing here when it was just the Beach course and it’s a really good golf course, great for a tournament.”

Hall hasn’t continued his 2016 form into the start of 2017, missing the cut in his first two starts of 2017 at the Singapore Open and last week’s Victorian PGA Championship.

But he knows it only takes a couple of good rounds to turn that around and is looking forward to putting his name in contention this week.

“I didn’t play a lot over the break; I went on a couple of golf trips which was good fun,” Hall said.

“If I can play the way that I did those last few weeks of last season it could be a great week. I’ve got a lot of big things coming up during the year so hopefully I can tap into that form.” 

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