Rookie years are tough and not all rookie survive them, but England’s Charley Hull has joined Thailand’s Moriya Jutanugam at the top of the 2013 survivors list. Jutanugam slugged it out with Germany’s Caroline Masson for the LPGA Louise Suggs Rookie of the Year award and it was a fight to the finish in the LET race as well. But in the end, 17-year old Hull finished just above Holly Clyburn on the ISPS HANDA Order of Merit, thereby earning a Rolex watch.
Hull first showed up on the US golf scene radar at the 2013 Solheim Cup. The fearless teenager playing in her rookie year faced down veteran Paula Creamer in their singles match, taking the quintessential competitor down to defeat 5 & 4 and then getting Creamer to autograph a golf ball for her boyfriend. As if that wasn’t enough, Hull started wearing a NY Yankees baseball cap to her press conferences.
Hull’s a Yankee fan? Not at all, she said. She just liked the hat!
Hull had an outstanding rookie season. She turned pro in January and started her 1st season with a run of 5 back-to-back 2nd place finishes, overall posting 10 top ten finishes in 15 appearances on the LET this year. She nailed down the Rookie of the Year award when she finished in a tie for eighth at the season-ending Omega Dubai Ladies Masters today while Clyburn ended sharing 39th position.
The young English pair has one of the tightest rookie battles ever seen on the LET, finishing sixth and seventh on the ISPS HANDA Order of Merit with earnings of €135,994.36 and €116,100.83 respectively. That’s about $186K for Hull and $159K for Clyburn, very respectable 1st year earnings by any measure.
“It’s an honor to win it,” said Hull. “I think I’ve had tough competition in Holly, she’s a great player and you can see in the future, me and Holly battling it out, which I think is good. Means a lot and it’s been good fun. Solheim was great and all my second place finishes, so it was good to top it off with that.”
Hull is now looking forward to Christmas at home before heading to Australia. On her future goals, she added: “It would be pretty awesome if I could win a major next year. I think that’s any golfer’s dream.”
Indeed it is and we share that dream with you, Charley Hull! Play on and play well! There’s surely more to come!