Charley Hull won her first LPGA Tour event in almost six years when capturing the Ascendant LPGA benefiting Volunteers of America title.
The 26-year-old from Kettering fired rounds of 67, 64, 71 and 64 at Old American Golf Club in Texas to finish on -18 for a one-shot win over China’s Xiyu Lina, with New Zealand’s Lydia Ko a further shot back in third.
Going into Sunday’s final round, Hull, Lin and Ko were all tied at the top on 11-under. Hull carded four birdies on the front nine to move to 14-under, but she was still one behind Lin and Ko.
There was nothing to split the trio when they reached the 12th tee, but Hull, who had been playing aggressively all week, recorded three birdies in a row to edge ahead. She began her run with a wedge to five feet for birdie on 12, and then hit a superb pitch from behind the green on the par-5 13th to two feet. She watched anxiously as her approach to par-4 14th was in the air, but it settled 12 feet away and she rolled in the putt for yet another birdie.
Both Lin and Ko kept the pressure on Hull down the stretch, with Lin birdieing the par-3 16th and bagging an eagle at the par-five 17th to move to within one shot of the leader, while Ko made birdies at 15 and 17.
When Hull birdied 17, Lin required a birdie of her own at the last to force a play-off, but both players could only manage pars, and the title was Hull’s.
The win marks a remarkable turnaround for Hull, who has endured a few tough years after bursting onto the scene as a teenager. She said: “I have come close a few times since last winning a title, but I have put in some good work this year. I think I know my game is there, it was just a question of having the confidence. I feel really good, I felt in control of my game all week, and I feel very proud of myself to have got back in the winner’s circle.”
Hull now joins Laura Davies and Alison Nicholas on the list of English women to have won multiple LPGA Tour titles.
CHARLEY HULL WITB
Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus (8°)
Fairway wood: TaylorMade Stealth Plus (15°)
Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM (19°)
Irons: TaylorMade P·7MB (4-PW)
Wedges: TaylorMade MG3 (50°, 54°, 60°)
Putter: TaylorMadeTP Soto Hydro Blast
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x