The latest column from Charley HullAugust, 2014
On the experience at Birkdale and a close second in Germany
It was brilliant to get back into Major action at the Ricoh Women’s British Open. To finish 12th and come away with the lowest round of the week was pretty special.
I felt like there was a lot expected of me and, to get into contention on Sunday, I felt like I stepped up to the plate.
Things didn’t exactly get off to a flying start with three dropped shots in the first two holes on Thursday but I told myself that there were plenty of holes and, after hitting the third green, I settled down. There were plenty of lessons learnt from the week. I played three rounds with the World No 1 Stacy Lewis and one round with Lexi Thompson so you can only pick up good things playing with them.
The last day was the toughest of the lot and nobody did better than par. I made a few bogeys in the middle of my round where I kind of thought, I’m out of it, then a couple holes later on I would think, no, I’m actually still in it. All that comes with experience and some different shot choices hopefully.
The course itself was in fantastic shape and the greens were awesome. Even without the wind anything under par was a great score and to have only one player in red figures at the end of the week gave a good reflection of what we were up against.
One of the highlights of the week was to officially announce that my home course, Woburn, will host the Ricoh Women’s British Open in 2016. It was pretty nerve-wracking making the announcement and I can’t wait for when the Marquess Course gets to hold a Major. The crowds are always brilliant at Woburn and they recently had over 2,500 for Final Qualifying for the men’s Open when around 500 were expected.
It will also be the 40th anniversary of both the championship and the club’s opening so it all goes together perfectly. It is always special to play in front of your friends, family and home fans but to do it on your home course is going to be incredible.
I had a bit of everything at the 18th at Birkdale, with scores of 6-7-4-5. I nearly blocked three shots out of bounds there on the first two days (two went out!) so my most satisfying shot on the Saturday was finding the fairway and making a birdie with the first ball.
I was about to pull my 3‑wood out, and then my caddie said to hit driver. I thought, well, at the end of the day, the out of bounds is 60 yards right and I’m ripping it. And so I thought, aim it to the left and hit a fade.
I just pretended I was playing a tree‑lined hole, like Woburn, instead of any out of bounds. Sometimes I find it hard to visualise a shot on a links course because everything is so flat and I managed to picture my shots really well on the Saturday. The 66 would be in my top three rounds of the year along with the last-round 62 to win in Morocco and the 66 in the third round at the Kraft. There was a bit of pressure on to have a good round and thankfully I managed to produce one and that was really satisfying.
Then it was off to Munich for the Ladies German Open where I lost in a play-off to Kylie Walker.
We both finished on 25-under and I managed to make up six shots in the last round so it was great to be involved in another dramatic Sunday and to come so close to a second win. I’m looking forward to a bit of a break and then getting stuck into some more events and some more decent finishes.