THE COLONY (Texas) — Charley Hull put in a lot of practice and it paid off. She made a total of seven birdies on Sunday to score a 7-under 64 to win The Ascendant LPGA.
Hull won the LPGA Tours first major championship in six years. The 26-year-old Englishman also crossed the $1million mark in season earnings.
She enjoyed the drama of the last hour at Old American Golf Club as well as the champagne bath when she won by one shot.
Hull said, I found that exciting. When Janet made eagle 17 years ago, I enjoyed that. It made me want the last birdie. It was great fun.
Janet, the nickname for Xiyu Lin in China, roared into it with a 12-foot birdie putt at the par-3 16th hole and then a 35 foot eagle putt from the par-5 17th. Lin had a small share of the lead but it was only for a brief moment.
Hull hit a lob wedge at 78 yards and 4 feet on the 17th. This was her last birdie. She held a 1-shot lead to the end hole.
The pin on 18th was all the distance back, with a steep slope just left. Hull reached for the flag and tugged at it a bit, while watching it stay on the collar. Lin, who closed with a 65 and moved her approach to the green just inside Hulls.
Lins birdie putt for a playoff lost speed, and was missed to the left. It was her third runnerup finish of the year, and her second in the past month. She cried when it was over.
Its funny. My coach and I had an amicable joke trying to figure out how high a world ranking we could get without a win. Lin said that although it isnt fun, it is still fun. Any other week, I mean there are 140 players out here and I came in second. Its frustrating, but its great on the other side.
Lydia Ko was also in this mix. She was tied with the lead, until missing a couple birdie chances from within 10 feet. Ko was third in the Race to CME Globe standings with 65 shots.
Hull was unstoppable. Hull started her run by hitting a wedge to 5ft for birdie on No. 12 and then hit a spectacular pitch from behind to the green on the par-513th to 2ft. She watched as her approach to 14th was in the air and it settled 12ft away for another birdie.
Hull was so sharp that she had chances at the next two holes within 10 feet. But, she narrowly missed them. She held her own all the way to victory.
Hull said, Ive done some good work this season. Hull now has two LPGA wins and three titles on Ladies European Tour. I told my coach several weeks ago, This was what we need to do to get in the winner’s circle.
She said that she could have made more birdies. I hit good putts, and just rolled over on the edge. I am very proud of myself.
Atthaya Thitikul (the 19-year-old Thai girl who won in Arkansas last week) needed a win to get to No. No. 1 in the women’s world ranking. She shot 67 and placed fourth, moving her to No. Nelly Korda was 2 ahead.