The plunder of sporting conquest can often suffer a heck of a lot of rough and tumble.

The Calcutta Cup, for instance, once got drunkenly booted around the streets of Auld Reekie while Spanish football’s Copa del Rey got dropped off an open-top bus and was flattened by the rumbling wheels below.

Ice Hockey’s Stanley Cup, meanwhile, has been pinched countless times while the Jules Rimet Trophy, that gold-plated sterling silver trinket that our neighbours across the wa’ keep banging on about, was half-inched in 1966 and found by a dog called Pickles.

Even the shimmering golfing majesty of The Herald sports desk’s Husband & Wife Perpetual Salver has suffered dunts and dents. And that was just at the actual prize-giving.

To this celebrated list of trophies that have endured many trials and tribulations, we can add the Women’s British Open bounty.

“It actually got stolen from my car two months ago,” revealed Bournemouth’s Georgia Hall, who defends her title at Woburn this week.

Thankfully, it was just a replica but the pesky purloining of the prize was an unwelcome distraction for 23-year-old Hall. “It happened in Chiswick,” she explained. “It (the trophy) was in the boot of my car. It was the middle of the day. They smashed my back window and just took it.


“I don’t know if they knew it was me or not because it was in the box and everything. And I had golf clubs, as well, and they didn’t take them. Obviously I was very upset at the time.

“I was on my own and nothing like that had happened to me before so I was a little bit like scared too. I feel a bit silly having it in the car. Maybe I should have taken it out. But you know, some things happen like this in life.”

So, any idea of its whereabouts yet? “No, they probably melted it down,” added Hall. Where’s Pickles the dug when you need him, eh?

Hall, meanwhile, has not really had a sniff of success in 2019 but is keen to put on a good show in her first tour appearance on home soil since her Open win at Royal Lytham a year ago.

READ MORE: Georgia Hall wins Lytham Duel in the Sun

A ninth-place finish in her the opening LPGA Tour event of the season in January remains her only top-10 of the current campaign and she hasn’t finished higher than 26th in 14 tournaments since.

A recent parting of the ways with her coach Dan Grieve, who is actually the head professional at Woburn, was amicable but necessary as Hall looks to get back to basics.

“He’s a great person and great coach but I’m a very simple person and a player, and I think things were getting a bit too confusing for me,” said Hall, who became just the fifth British woman to win a major.

“I just wanted to simplify everything. And it’s a lot better without having those other voices in my head.”

Hall will have her dad, Wayne, as caddie again this week. She won with him on the bag last year while he wore the same pair of lucky, yet unwashed socks for all four days.

“They’re probably in the bin now,” said Hall. Maybe the missing Women’s Open trophy is in there, too.