Fuller sisters dreaming of LPGA success together at Harder Hall Invite

Beth Ann Nichols/Golfweek

Fuller sisters dreaming of LPGA success together at Harder Hall Invite

LPGA Tour

Fuller sisters dreaming of LPGA success together at Harder Hall Invite

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SEBRING, Fla. – Annabell Fuller walked into the clubhouse at Harder Hall, looked up at the big board of past champions and said to older sister Samantha, “One of our names is going to be on this next year.”

The Fullers have been coming to sleepy Sebring, Fla., for the past five years. While the weather at the Harder Hall Invitational is notoriously dicey, it’s still miles better than winter in their native London. That’s mostly why 16-year-old Annabell enrolled at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., this fall, and why 19-year-old Samantha plays NAIA golf at Keiser University in West Palm Beach, Fla. 

This event boasts an illustrious list of past champions, including Cristie Kerr, Stacy Lewis, Natalie Gulbis, Nelly Korda and, in 2012, compatriot Charley Hull. 

The history isn’t lost on the Fullers, who also appreciate the local hospitality. Harder Hall has lost some of its luster over the years, but the rough patches are smoothed over by camaraderie.

“It just feels warm here,” said Samantha, speaking of smiles rather than sunshine.

Samantha opened the 64th Harder Hall with a 2-over 74, two strokes back of Latanna Stone, Anna Redding and Yoon Min Han. Annabell, who finished runner-up at this event in 2017, shot 75.

The 2018 season was a memorable one for Annabell as she represented Great Britain and Ireland at the Curtis Cup and Team Europe at the Junior Ryder Cup, meeting Tiger Woods in the process. The 2017 English Girls Open Amateur champion is currently No. 55 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. 

“My parents’ dream is to see us both on tour,” said Samantha, who planned to turn professional out of high school before a wrist injury and tonsillitis led to a last-minute change of plans. She enrolled in Keiser’s two-year Professional Golf Management (PGM) program and never finished outside the top three in four starts this fall for the Seahawks.

At this time last year, Samantha was preparing for surgery to remove a kidney. She was touched when the Harder Hall bartender, who’d recently come off of a major surgery of her own, kept tabs via text. 

Samantha still has plans to give professional golf a try, though she’s also interested in a career in broadcast journalism. For both reasons she has made the decision to played golf at UNLV this fall. 

Annabell plans to follow in her sister’s footstep. 

“I think personally the best way is to go to college,” said Annabell, who enjoys the idea of being motivated by likeminded peers. 

While they’re close in age and ambition, the Fuller sister are as different as they are alike. Annabell plays a more aggressive game that’s full of highs and lows. Samantha favors consistency. 

“I would say I have a lot more energy than my sister,” said Annabell. “I’m definitely more outgoing. I’m always ready to do things all day long. My whole family says I’m high maintenance because I’m always on the go.” 

Samantha says her confident, independent sister belies her youth.  

“If you ever speak to my dad he makes out this huge thing that we’re really competitive,” said Annabell. “We just want each other to do well.”

Which takes us back to the top of the week, when Annabell made the declaration that the Fuller name would be on that champions board in short order. 

Either will do.

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