Thompson apologises as misplaced passport disrupts British Open practice
England’s Charley Hull hoping to make the most of playing at her home club as she seeks a first Major
Lexi Thompson of the US during the pro-am for the Women’s British Open at Woburn. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
As is common practice when back-to-back events are played in Europe, some players chose to transport their clubs from last week’s Evian Championship in France in a van driven by Ian Wright, a former caddie to Seve Ballesteros.
However, Wright was around two hours into his journey on Sunday evening when he received a phone call telling him that Thompson’s passport was in her golf bag and she needed it to fly from Geneva.
Wright was asked to pull over and wait while Thompson’s caddie took a taxi to meet him and retrieve the passport, the ensuing delays meaning Wright missed his scheduled ferry to England, then encountered rush-hour traffic and only arrived at Woburn at 5pm on Monday.
By then the course was closed to allow groundstaff to continue their preparations for the final major of the year, which gets under way on Thursday.
Among those affected was Ariya Jutanugarn, the champion the last time the event was played at Woburn in 2016.
Thompson, whose own journey was delayed by a cancelled flight, told her pre-tournament press conference: “I didn’t realise that I was going to cause so much delay in the bags for all the players, and I’m very sorry about that. In my situation I was freaking out.
“Then he [Wright] happened to be somewhat close to where my caddie Benji was, so my first reaction was to hopefully stop him and get my passport so I can leave and get to the Women’s British Open.
“I do apologise. I mean, I would be upset too if I was the other players, but I ended up getting it and I can’t apologise enough.
“I’m just really trying to focus on this week and play good golf, and just focus on enjoying this experience and being at a Major.”
England’s Georgia Hall, who revealed on Tuesday that her replica trophy had been stolen from her car recently, will defend the title she won at Royal Lytham last year, while compatriot Charley Hull is seeking to make the most of playing at her home club as she seeks a first Major title.
“I’d love to win a Major, especially at home, it would be great. But I’m just going to go out and enjoy it,” Hull, said in a pre-tournament press conference.
“At the end of the day as long as I enjoy myself outside of golf I’m not going to put too much pressure on myself in golf because sometimes I feel like I do actually.
“I would really like to win, especially on home turf, but I’m not going to say it’s the be-all and end-all because I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself.”
Hull missed the cut at Lytham last year and has a best finish of joint 12th in the event at Royal Birkdale in 2014.