Charley Hull says all the hard work practicing over the winter at home paid dividends as she started the Ladies European Tour season with a one shot victory in the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open in the United Arab Emirates.
The Kettering golfer, who still lives in Burton Latimer but now plays mostly in the USA, recorded her first win since claiming the LPGA Tour Championship title at the end of 2016 as she led from start to finish at the Saadiyat Beach GC.
Hull carded a bogey-free opening 67, added a 72 on day two, before collecting the trophy off golf legend, and course designer, Gary Player thanks to a brilliant up-and-down from a bunker on the 18th hole in a closing round of 69.
The 22-year-old, who got engaged to boyfriend Ozzie Smith over Christmas, said: “I’ve practised really, really hard over the winter and it feels great to win back on the Ladies European Tour, where I had my first pro win in Morocco.
“I also won on the LPGA two years ago in America. Hopefully I can get a few more wins this year and I’ve been practising really hard so it shows that my hard work is paying off.
“It was windy all three days really and especially on the second day. On the last day, the wind got up in the end and it was a tricky finish, especially the 18th hole. With that back right pin, it was a good finish.
“I hit a five iron over the green, and had a 35 yard bunker shot, but I stiffed it. There was water behind the green and I had to carry it about 25 yards to get onto the green, over a ridge and I pitched it perfectly.
“It spun to about three of four feet and I holed the putt, so I was really happy. It was quite tricky and I made the putt, so it feels really good to be back in the winner’s circle again.”
With qualifying points up for grabs to play in the European team in the 2019 Solheim Cup at the end of the season, County colleague Meghan MacLaren (Wellingborough) finished in 41st position after shooting rounds of 75, 78 and 72.
The next outing for both ladies will see them make their 2019 LPGA Tour debuts as they compete in the ISPS Handa Vic Open in Victoria, Australia from February 7th.