Charlie Hull’s long wait will come to an end when she starts her first round of the Ricoh Women’s British Open at just before noon on Thursday.
For two years Hull has been looking forward to the day when she could play a Major on her home course at Woburn and she admits she cannot wait to start her first round at 11.59 in the company of World No. 1 Lydia Ko and Sweden’s Linda Wessberg.
“It’s pretty cool that it’s at Woburn,” said the 20-year-old English star. “It’s nice to be home. I remember being very excited when it was announced two years ago but the time has flown by since then. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Hull confirmed she is now fully recovered from the asthma attack that kept her out of one of the four-ball matches at last week’s UL International Crown team event in Chicago.
“I feel a lot better,” she said. “It’s always in that part of America that my asthma gets really bad. Here in England I’m used to the pollen and stuff but last week it was hard to breathe with the humidity. They put me on air and that helped a lot.”
Hull is just one of the star names in a strong field containing no less than 26 Major champions.
The most recent is America’s Brittany Lang who struck a blow for the over-30s brigade when she claimed her first Major title earlier this month at the US Women’s Open at CordeValle Golf Club Golf Club in California.
“It feels a bit different to be coming here because I haven’t played in a Major as a US champion before. It’s a new world. It’s definitely tiring. There are a lot more demands. Everybody is congratulating you.
“It’s a new world for me but I’m just excited to get going for the British.”
Lexi Thompson is another player who arrives at Woburn on the back of a big win after being part of the winning American team at last week’s UL International Crown tournament.
“It has been a crazy last few days,” said the World No. 4, who won this year’s Honda LPGA event in Thailand and who has accumulated no less than eight top-10 finishes in 14 starts on this year’s LPGA Tour.
“We had a lot of media to do on Sunday and then had to rush to the airport. Yesterday was the first day I got to play the golf course. It’s in spectacular shape for us. It’s definitely different from the usual British Open courses I’ve played but I like it. It’s a great set-up.”
This week’s field is predominantly professional but for the first time ever it also includes the top five players on the official Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking. America’s Hannah O’Sullivan, England’s Bronte Law, Spain’s Maria Parra and Irish duo Leona Maguire and Olivia Mehaffey all play and they are joined in the race for the Smyth Salver awarded to the leading amateur by World No. 10 Luna Sobron from Spain and 15-year-old Swede Julia Engstrom who recently became the youngest ever winner of the British Ladies’ title and who has already risen to 23rd on the World Ranking.