While it ultimately wasn’t the final result that she was hoping for, Woburn, England native Charley Hull still had an incredible week at the AIG Women’s Open at Walton Heath Golf Club, finishing solo second and earning her career-best finish in a major championship in her home country. Hull began the day tied for the lead with Lilia Vu at 9-under but stalled early with two bogeys on Nos. 3 and 4 to slip back to 7-under, three behind her playing partner. She then parred her next six holes to sit five back of Vu but holed out from the bunker on the par-5 11th hole for her second eagle of the week to get within striking distance once again.
After making three consecutive pars on holes 12, 13 and 14, Hull went bogey-birdie-bogey on Nos. 15, 16 and 17 to drop to 8-under and sit five back of Vu with one hole to play. After finding the heather with her drive and punching out to the bunker in front of the green on 18, the 27-year-old splashed out her third shot and miraculously drained her lengthy par try to the delight of the English fans, solidifying her runner-up result and finishing T2 or better in her second major of the season.
“(Lilia) played unbelievable and I just don't feel like I got a break to be fair. I didn't feel anything went my way, even some lies that I had and I was running out of steam at the end,” said Hull, who finished T2 at the U.S. Women’s Open at Pebble Beach after a final-round, 6-under 66. “No, she played great. It's just annoying because this is my fourth second-place finish of the year and second second-place finish in a major. But I feel like next year will be my time for me just because I'm going to really focus on working on that over this winter. I feel like I want to start tomorrow with my coach.”
Despite the frustrating final round, Hull was proud of the display she was able to put on in front of her fellow Brits. The English fans turned out in droves to see their home-country hero tee it up, and while she wasn’t the one hoisting the trophy on the final green on Sunday at Walton Heath, Hull was grateful for everyone’s support throughout the week, especially the love she felt from her younger admirers.
“It's unbelievable,” she said. “I was shocked how many young kids came up to me to be fair. It's quite cute and really inspiring because when I was younger, I used to look up to Laura (Davies) but it's kind of cool how they are looking up to me now. The signs, it's lovely.”