Charley Hull Captures Her First Pro Victory
By Torleif Sorenson on 3/17/14

The biggest golf news from this past weekend is that Charley Hull of England captured her first professional victory.

The reason this is so noteworthy is because Hull is still 17 years old; she turns 18 next week. But she possesses a golf game that is experienced, talented, and mature beyond her chronological age. We first saw this last August at the Solheim Cup, when she helped Team Europe roar past Team USA. On Sunday, Hull fired a blistering closing round 62, which featured seven birdies and an eagle. Even then, that 62 just got her into a playoff with France's Gwladys Nocera. And then on the first overtime hole, playing the par-3 18th, Hull stuck her tee-shot to four feet and canned the birdie. Game over.

Her experience at the Solheim Cup proved quite helpful, as she told reporters afterward:
"I shot nine under today, which is pretty good, and I thought I had it on the last in my actual 18th hole and it just missed. And then making birdie in the play-off to win it, my hands were shaking like mad. And I had a putt from four feet in the Solheim down the last against Paula and Lexi. I had the same there to win and I did it, and I feel like I'm a good putter under pressure now."
It was at Golf de l'Ocean in Morocco that Hull began her professional career twelve months ago.

For her part, Nocera (a three-time Solheim Cup player who missed qualifying for the 2013 event) was in tears after the playoff loss; she had led the entire final round:
"My putting has been really bad the whole week so you can't do anything when you putt like that. I tried my best; Charley played well today and she deserves it. She's been close to victory for a while and she's a great player, so she deserves it. I had to play better and I didn't."
Playing as an amateur, Hull won seven tournaments by the time she was 16. We are certain that this is merely the first of what will probably be many victories.

The congratulations came pretty quickly, too:

And if Hull inspires many more young women and girls in England and the UK into playing golf, that will be a much-appreciated bonus.

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