Four runner-up finishes in as many starts in her first season on tour have seen 17-year-old Charley Hull rocket to the top of the Ladies European Tour’s ISPS Handa Order of Merit.
The rookie professional tied for second at the Lalla Meryem Cup, South African Women’s Open and Turkish Airlines Ladies Open and was solo second at the Deloitte Ladies Open in Amsterdam on Sunday.
After so many close finishes, her sights are now set on a breakthrough victory at the UniCredit Ladies German Open presented by Audi.
Hull felt that The International in Amsterdam suited her game because it played long in the wind and she looks forward to testing her game at Golfpark Gut Häusern, near Munich from Thursday.
“I’m leading the order of merit so I’m looking forward to going out this week and getting a couple of rounds under my belt,” she said, on wet and overcast Pro-Am day on Wednesday.
“I played one practice round and I usually play two. It’s a shame because the weather was so bad we couldn’t go out this morning.”
If Hull wins the tournament this week, she will earn a first prize of 52,500 euro, along with an Audi Q5, but she hasn’t had time for driving lessons since her birthday in March.
She could even win an Audi R8 Spyder, worth 160,000 euro, for a hole-in-one on the par-3 15th, which would be an impressive first set of wheels. She hit a five-iron at the 171-yard hole in her practice round, which was the longest club she hit into any green.
Hull jumped 48 places to 150th in the world after finishing second last week and the talented teen is now up to seventh on the European Solheim Cup team standings, from which the top four will qualify for August’s clash in Colorado.
On Solheim Cup qualification, she said: “I’m thinking about it, but I’m not really thinking about it. Competitions will build up to that and you’ve got to play well to be in it. I’m playing well at the moment and have had four seconds in the last four tournaments. I’m sure I’ll go out there and play one shot at a time and hopefully get good results without thinking about it too much.”
Whilst most of the players will have had two years to qualify when the teams are announced at St. Andrews on August 4, Hull has played in only four events to date and is now just 22.41 points behind fourth ranked Caroline Masson of Germany.
Another second place would lift her into fourth position and into the qualifying spots, with five qualifying events to play, in Germany, Slovakia, Spain, England and Scotland.
Hull is playing with Laura Davies and Cheyenne Woods in the Thursday’s first round, starting from the first tee at 12.30pm.
The defending champion Anne-Lise Caudal plays with the 2011 champion Diana Luna and 2009 winner Jade Schaeffer at 12.40pm.
German favourite Caroline Masson is part of a marquee group starting early at 8.10am from the 10th tee, along with Carlota Ciganda and Lee-Anne Pace, followed by the ‘glamour group’ featuring Sharmila Nicollet, Maria Baliokeva and Danielle Montgomery 10 minutes later.