First Georgia Hall and now Mel Reid; the last two LPGA Tour events yielded rare British triumphs which stoke confidence for the next major, this week’s Women’s PGA Championship at the historic Aronimink Golf Club in Pennsylvania.
Both players have expressed huge relief at landing first American wins. Their successes feel like breakthrough moments that confirm their ability to turn copious talent into victories of genuine substance.
Reid was tipped for great things when she turned professional back in 2007. But, despite six wins on the Ladies European Tour and three Solheim Cup appearances, there was a feeling the 33-year-old had not fulfilled her potential.
“People have been talking about my talent for a long time but I’ve just never really got anywhere close to where I thought I would be,” she admitted after winning the ShopRite LPGA Classic in New Jersey last Sunday.
Two weeks earlier, Reid held a two-stroke lead going into the final round of the Cambia Portland Classic but a 74 opened the door for her fellow Englishwoman Hall, who won a play-off against South Africa’s Ashleigh Buhai.
That was a massive moment for the 24-year-old from Dorset. “Winning again is just an amazing feeling,” Hall told BBC Sport. “I think it probably took a couple of days to sink in because it is such a whirlwind when you get off the course.
“You have loads of media and interviews and to have a couple of days off, away from golf, reflecting on my play, my game and what happened has been great.”
Hall finished in a share of 18th at last week’s LPGA Classic, another solid performance but 11 shots behind champion Reid.
The winner played magnificently. Reid hit the accelerator with four birdies around the turn after successive and potentially derailing bogeys at the sixth and seventh holes.
The Florida-based golfer from Derby maintained her composure despite a two-shot swing at the 17th, which halved a commanding four-stroke advantage. She then calmly birdied the last to beat Jennifer Kupcho by two shots.
Reid has been working with psychologist Howard Falco and it is clearly paying dividends. Prior to the final round she read a message posted on social media suggesting she would choke, hardly ideal given how her last event panned out.
“I know it sounds stupid, but it was probably the best thing I could have read. I was definitely not letting that happen,” she said.
“The older you get in this game you do create a few scars. But being 33 years old and lifting this trophy when I had some young players behind me, it goes to show I guess that I like adversity.
“I’ll always be a fighter and try and fight my way through things. I’m so happy and relieved that I got it done.”
For Hall there was a similar level of impatience before her win. Her breakthrough had come by claiming a major but until the win in Oregon she had not followed up on that epic Women’s Open success at Lytham in 2018.
“Well I’d won in my own country – which people could say is harder – now I wanted to win in America because I play on that tour,” Hall said.
Her form was steady heading into the Portland tournament. She has not missed a cut since July last year and won two of the post lockdown Rose Series events in England.
Then she finished 45th at the Women’s Open and 37th in the next major, the ANA Inspiration. “I feel like I’ve been playing pretty good since the return after lockdown,” she said.
“It all kind of came together (for the win) and I just kept everything simple and I was very relaxed out there.
“We practice and prepare to be in situations like that so I was happy to be in contention, really enjoying the moment and knowing that I had the game to win and believed in myself. I was so proud to get over the line.
“It’s nice to win in America, that was important to me and a goal of mine.”
Now it is time to try to capitalise on current form and take it to the highest level at this week’s KPMG Women’s PGA. “I’m again going to try and keep everything simple and not think about anything technical and go out there and enjoy it,” she said.
Rescheduled from its original June date, Hall arrives at the third of this year’s four majors with the confidence that comes from beating a strong field as she did just over a fortnight ago.
“I’ve never seen the golf course before but I’ve heard really good things about it,” she said. “It’s a proper major golf course and I would say I tend to do better around those.”
Reid, who was tied third in last year’s Women’s PGA, plans to temper celebrations to ensure full focus for this week, which typifies an attitude that is delivering due reward.
“I made a huge sacrifice moving to America, leaving my comfort zone, my friends and my family, and it’s paid off,” she said of her move to Florida in 2018.
“I always wanted to be a world class athlete, and to finally get the job done is a huge sigh of relief. No matter what, people can’t take away the fact that I’m an LPGA winner against a world class field.”
The opposition will be even tougher this week, but Reid and Hall are well placed to make the most of one of golf’s biggest stages and both are refreshingly blessed with perspectives that compliment their golfing skills.
As Reid says: “As long as you just keep your head down and do the right things, good things will happen to good people.”