It’s not a bad old life. After the golf writers had made a right dog’s breakfast of playing the Old Course, we all sat down for afternoon tea with Georgia Hall.

Scones, cakes? All that was missing was Mary Berry prodding the bottom of a Victoria Sponge. The Great R&A Bake Off, if you please.

All of this was in aid of this summer’s AIG Women’s Open, which returns to the game’s cradle of St Andrews for the first time since 2013.

Hall, the 28-year-old from Bournemouth, won the Women’s Open title at Royal Lytham back in 2018. It remains the victory she cherishes the most. A triumph in the Auld Grey Toun, however, would be, well, the icing on the cake.

“If I won here, that's the only thing that would beat my win at Lytham,” she said as she mulled over the prospect of a win in the home of golf.

“Even if I won the US Open this year, it wouldn’t beat my win at Lytham. This (St Andrews) would only beat it in my opinion. It’s the one everybody wants to win a little bit more.

“I just love coming to St Andrews, regardless if there's an event on or not. I want to try and have a place up here, that's how much I enjoy it.

"I just love being around the whole golf atmosphere of the town. There's nothing else quite like it. As soon as I'm here I'm just happier.”

Back in 2013, Hall made her major debut as an amateur in the 2013 Women’s Open over the Old Course. She made a fine first of it and finished alongside Lydia Ko to share the Smyth Salver as the leading players from the unpaid ranks.

Unfortunately, Hall never got the customary picture of herself alongside the eventual champion, Stacy Lewis, on the Swilcan Bridge due to a bit of an administrative muddle.

“They (the officials) said that it went on a card countback and told me I didn’t win,” reflected Hall. “I had a flight to catch so headed off but 20 minutes later I got a call and they said, ‘oh sorry, we looked at the history and it’s not done on a card back, so you won as well’.” The moment was gone, though.

There have been plenty more St Andrews moments to savour for Hall, however. In 2022, at the 150th Open, she got to play alongside Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods in the Celebration of Champions event.

“It had always been a dream to even meet Tiger, let alone play golf with him,” beamed Hall, a two-time LPGA Tour champion and a European Solheim Cup linchpin.

“It was so cool. About a week before the event, I got a call from my manager saying I’d been paired with Tiger and I just couldn’t believe it. I was so nervous. I think the crowds on that Monday were the same as the Sunday when I won (the Women’s Open). It was crazy.

“I remember Rory knew a lot more about me than I thought he did. Just listening to them both talk about the shots they hit and their thoughts over the ball was really fascinating.”

By the time the AIG Women’s Open tees-off in August, goodness knows how many wins the all-conquering Nelly Korda will have racked up. The American is in the midst of a quite remarkable run of form and, last Sunday, won her sixth title in her last seven events.

“I played in Los Angeles a couple of weeks ago and Nelly pulled out and I texted her to say, ‘thanks for giving us a chance,” chuckled Hall.

“I just think it's great for women's golf. In a way I hope it continues like that because it's just amazing to see. I just can't get my head around it really either. Six out of seven is just unbelievable.”

The idea of Korda getting the chance to pit her wits in a men’s event, like Michelle Wie and Annika Sorenstam did, has been floated.

Some believe that would have value, others reckon it can just descend into a circus. As for Hall? “I think Nelly would definitely make the cut," she said. "She hits the ball far enough. If I was her, I'd want to do it (play in a men’s event). It would showcase her golf and get women’s golf more coverage.”

And on that note, it was back to the afternoon tea.