Charley Hull’s Breakout Day

Charley Hull 20 Year Old British Phenom Chooses Big Event for First Win

We’ve all been watching her for years as she beats up on older, more experienced golfers and knocks on the door for various tournaments. We all knew it would happen one of these days. She was too brilliant to deny forever. However, I get a special kick out of which day Charley Hull chose for breaking into international stardom. Not only is the CME a major deal, but occupies one of the wierdest, most mind-bending golf  formats of the entire year. British golfer Hull won the CME with all four rounds in the 60s, and she blew away all the players who were supposed to serve as the main attraction of the week. Of all the articles I read, Hull’s victory only headlined about one in every four, but it’s still the most interesting part of it to me, by far.

charley-hull-1280x601-1Lydia Ko had to win the CME in order to make a shot at Player of the Year, Number One, and all of that ranking stuff that sometimes bores me to tears. Through the week, she was playing like Lydia Ko, and when she’s doing that, only a handful of people have what it takes to stop her – but Hull did, at minus 17, with Ko and minus 11. Ariya Jutanugarn, on the other hand, didn’t need to win anything to capture the number one ranking. She needed to do well. Jutanugarn did her own knocking on the door thing for a while before becoming a feared serial winner on tour. She, too, was playing like Jutanugarn can play, writing the same story, that only a few could stop her – but Charley Hull did. Jutanugarn settled in at minus 14, looking good enough to walk away with the annual overall honors.

That’s where it gets strange for me. Jutanugarn accepted a plastic cube filled with one million visible dollars for being the most consistent, superior player on the tour in 2016…but Charley Hull won the big tournament. Who is supposed to get the bulk of our attention and applause? Hull only played a few days of absolutely rock solid golf, and walked away with a check for half a million…and one quarter of the publicity. As a tribute to long-term quallity, I get it. Jutanugarn deserves every word of praise that comes her way. But, the most interesting part of it? Charley Hull breaking the door down, and joining the elite youth that have come to dominate the game.
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So now, we have a truly global threat in the women’s game, just like we should. We have a British star and a New Zealander, a couple of Canadians, a couple of Americans, a Chinese woman, and a group of South Koreans heading up the women’s tour. The great thing about it is that the rest of the field is so good that any and all of these stars can be beaten on any given week. Still, if we are ever challenged by the Martian team in a sort of interplanetary Solheim Cup, I’ll send Ko, Jutanugarn, Hull, Henderson, Fen, Thompson, and one of several Koreans as the heart of the team, and feel pretty good about it.

For this week, though, it’s all about Charley Hull and her “strawberry moose swing” – backswing strawberry downswing moose. In the world of metaphors, to each his own. We all have them. Today, Jutanugarn has Player of the Year and a cube containing a cool million. Lydia Ko has the Silk Bahamas to look forward to, and will certainly triumph again (and probably again and again and again). Charley Hull has her breakthrough stardom day, and a half million signing bonus for the rest of her career. Strawberry Moose, eh? Wonder if it would work on my career.
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