CINCINNATI, Ohio | A triple bogey on the first hole might ruin a round right from the start for most LPGA Tour players, but Charley Hull isn’t like most. The Englishwoman made a 7 on the par-4 1st hole on Saturday at Kenwood Country Club’s Kendale Course, host of the second edition of the Kroger Queen City Championship presented by P&G. Instead of letting it derail her day, she carded seven birdies and no bogeys in her next 17 holes, erasing her mistake and posting a 4-under 68 to sit two back of the lead in a tie for second with Peiyun Chien at 13-under. Hull has said before that she isn’t a player who likes her rounds to start with a bunch of pars, explaining that it bores her, and she loses focus when that happens. She would rather have to dig herself out of a hole and work to fight her way back, making today’s start in Cincinnati, Ohio almost ideal for the 27-year-old.
“I started off with a 7, so it was a triple bogey on my first hole, but I just laughed it off, and better the next couple holes, and then got it back to – I think I was 1-under after 9 and made a few good birdies coming in,” said Hull. “(The start was almost ideal) because kind of then you're fighting back, and I quite enjoy that. I'm looking forward to being two back tomorrow because then you can kind of chase down the person. I feel like my game is good, and I'm really excited to be in the final group tomorrow and have a chance to win. Also excited because I'll be flying home tomorrow, as well, so I'm just excited.”
On Sunday at the Kroger Queen City Championship, Hull will be hustling to capture her third career LPGA Tour victory and first win since the 2022 Ascendant LPGA benefitting Volunteers of America. In her 14 starts ahead of this week, she has recorded three runner-up results, tying for second at the season-opening Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions, tying for second at the U.S. Women’s Open and finishing solo second at the AIG Women’s Open at Walton Heath Golf Club in her home country of England. Hull has earned one additional top-10 finish in 2023, tying for seventh at the LPGA Drive On Championship at Superstition Mountain, and this week in Cincinnati marks the first time since that same week in Arizona that she has recorded three consecutive rounds in the 60s.
In short, Hull seems to be due for a victory and is in incredibly good form. Considering how well she handled the tricky conditions on day three at Kenwood Country Club and her propensity for chasing down those at the top of the leaderboard, no lead, even one held by two-time major champion Minjee Lee, is safe with a hungry Hull lurking a mere two shots behind.
“Just been playing golf. Just literally just been playing golf, not thinking about golf too much, just playing it. Like just go out there and play. I always find golf courses suit me well when they are a bit bouncy and firmer because I do spin the ball, and yeah, I hope they're bouncy tomorrow,” she said. “I think I find it fun. I actually find it really fun. Like it actually gets me really excited. It's like a challenge.”