Sixteen-year-old Charley Hull looks like the real deal. That much seems obvious after her latest performance.
Hull made her debut on the Ladies European Tour and was even more impressive than she was on her LPGA debut. The precocious amateur did not return a score over par in the Turkish Airlines Ladies Open at the National Golf Club in Antalya. Rounds of 73, 72, 73 and 73 gave the amateur from Woburn GC (Ian Poulter’s home club) a four-round total of 291, 1 under par.
Holland’s Christel Boeljon won the tournament for the second year running with a four-round total of 285, 7 under. Hull finished just six shots behind.
Hull’s performance follows her outstanding showing in the Kraft Nabisco Championship earlier this year. Playing in her first major, Hull finished joint 38th.
The English girl is currently fourth on the World Amateur Golf Ranking and had high expectations heading to Turkey. However, if she was feeling any pressure, then she didn’t show it.
“I’m really happy I came fifth on my own, and I didn’t shoot over par at all, all week,” Hull said. “I didn’t expect anything: I just go out there and play golf and have fun.”
She might play without expectation, but the same can’t be said for the rest of golf. Hull has been on the radar of many amateur aficionados since she won the 2011 Jones-Doherty Match Play Championship on Florida’s Orange Blossom circuit. She won the 2011 Welsh Ladies Open Stroke Play and the English Women’s Stroke Play Championships. She began this year by winning the Harder Hall Invitational.
The England international made headlines for other reasons earlier this year when the Ladies Golf Union told her she wouldn’t make the Great Britain & Ireland Curtis Cup team because she had decided to skip a team trial at Nairn, Scotland so she could travel to the Kraft. The LGU Curtis Cup selection panel changed their minds and selected her anyway.
Following Hull’s two professional appearances, LGU selectors will be breathing sighs of relief that common sense prevailed. Hull will play an important role in this year’s Curtis Cup as GB&I tries to win the match for the first time since 1996.
Hull’s experiences in the pro game can only help GB&I’s cause. Those performances also signal a big future in the Royal & Ancient game.