Who says golf’s not a mental game? LET teen star Charley Hull started moving day at the RICOH Women’s British Open well down the leaderboard, in T49th position, and then she let it rip, again and again and again! Trailing Mighty Mo Martin’s mid-point lead by 11 strokes, Hull believed she still had a chance to win the Open and she teed off Saturday morning buoyed by the optimism of youth. Even after a shaky bogey-bogey start that put her even further back of Martin’s -6, she still believed she had a chance, and she played her round fueled by that belief.
Faith worked. Hull fired off four birdies in the next five holes and at the turn she had edged closer to the top of the board. By the time Mighty Mo teed off Charley Hull had played her heart out, gotten to -1, inside the top-10 on the board, and still had a chance.
The amazing teenager made her international debut last year at the Solheim Cup. Today the golfer 2013 Solheim Team Europe captain Lisolette Neumann described as “a very special girl” — Neumann tapped Hull as a captain’s choice for Team Europe after they played a practice round together at the 2013 RICOH Women’s British Open — showed the stuff Neumann saw last year. With nine birdies on her card, Hull needed only 26 putts to record an amazing third round 66.
Hull dialed back her game today, something that’s not entirely natural for the effervescent teenager who seems most comfortable with a grip it and rip it style of golf. But her shorter third round drives — averaging about 234 yards — kept her out of the OB trouble she found on Friday.
And so the intrepid teen who’s ready to challenge world ranked no. 5 Lexi Thompson for the queen of open throttle golf has put herself back into contention for her first Major championship.
With defending champion Stacy Lewis, the quintessential Sunday closer expert also at -1 and with Mighty Mo stumbling through the back nine on moving day, Sunday at Royal Birkdale is shaping up to be a cliffhanger.