Top 10 female amateurs: No. 4 Charley Hull

Charley Hull fired a 1-under 71 in the first round of the Ricoh Women's British Open at Royal Liverpool Golf Club.

Charley Hull fired a 1-under 71 in the first round of the Ricoh Women's British Open at Royal Liverpool Golf Club.

The amateur season roared in with talk of the Curtis Cup in Scotland, and died down with the Women’s World Amateur Team Championship in Turkey, which made patriotism a big part of 2012. But in terms of women’s amateur golf, 2012 also was the year of the Kiwi (read: Lydia Ko) and the last summer of the Jutanugarn sisters.

Golfweek will spend 10 days counting down the top amateur players of the past year. Who will be No. 1? Who else will make the list? Check back each day.

Find the entire series here.

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No. 4: Charley Hull

R&A’s World Amateur Golf Ranking: 7

2012 in review: Won Harder Hall Invitational; made cut at Kraft Nabisco Championship; GB&I Curtis Cup team; qualified for Ricoh Women’s British Open

Controversy surrounded Hull at the beginning of the year after it was announced that she had received one of a handful of sponsor exemptions set aside for top amateurs at the Kraft Nabisco Championship. Playing in the Kraft, her first LPGA major, would cause Hull to miss a practice session for GB&I Curtis Cup hopefuls. Missing that session, the LGU said, meant she couldn’t play for the team.

Hull kept a low profile, and upon arriving at the Kraft, learned she had been selected to the team anyway. It was the right deision. In Curtis Cup singles, Hull claimed the biggest margin of victory among her GB&I teammates, defeating America’s top college player Lindy Duncan, 5 and 3.

Hull plays out of Woburn Golf Club in England, which is the same course to which Ian Poulter belongs. The 16-year-old caused a sensation in America two years ago when she showed up for the Florida Orange Blossom Circuit, but by 2012 she was a well-known amateur. What’s most noticeable about Hull is her aggressive swing.

Though petite, Hull takes a cut at the ball that’s unmatched by her peers. She also has an incredible amount of patience and poise for her age. It showed this summer as she made a series of professional starts around the world. She had made four by the time she arrived at the Women’s British, where a first-round 71 left her in contention. After a second-round 80, however, she failed to make the cut. Still, Hull's past year indicates she's moving closer to a successful career as a professional golfer.

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