Georgia Hall is back at the scene of her famous 2022 Aramco Saudi Ladies International triumph, and cannot wait to get her title defence started — despite the myriad challenges that await her — from the strongest ever field, pressures of being the returning champion and that infamous wind at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club.

The English 26-year-old raced away 12 months ago to claim the Saudi International crown with nearest challengers, Johanna Gustavsson and Kristýna Napoleaová, five strokes back. But the 2018 Women’s Open champion does not expect things to be quite as easy this time around as she gets her 2023 season under way.

Georgia Hall speaks at the Aramco Saudi Ladies International. Matt Smith/Motivate Media Group

“I think it’s going to be very windy again,” Hall said, referring to the breeze that whips in off the Red Sea each afternoon. “This has already been one of the windiest weeks that I’ve been here. I think it’s a good test and it will definitely work on my low shots, especially off the tee. “It’s also a very strong field this year, much stronger than last year, so I think obviously it will be harder to win for anyone.

“I think that’s great for this event. I’ve seen a lot of youngsters come through, too, especially ones from Europe. Chiara [Dubai resident and schoolgirl Noja], I think she’s going to be really good. She won the Obviously won the individual title here last year at the Aramco Team Series. I’ve heard a lot of good things about her.”

Does the five-fold increase in prize money put added weight on her shoulders as defending champ?

“That doesn’t give me more pressure feeling-wise,” Hall replied. “I think being defending champion is a really good feeling — and a feeling that a lot of players don’t get often because we have so many good players now on tour it’s very hard to win.

“It’s nice to defend. Obviously, there may be a little bit more pressure here or there, but I think pressure is really good and it means you care.

“I’m really going to enjoy the week and see what happens.”