LONDON (Reuters) - Charley Hull and the Solheim Cup go together like toast and jam but for the teenage Briton the 2013 edition is almost as memorable for her first taste of peanut butter as it was for a virtuoso golfing performance.
At the age of 17, the youngest player in the history of the biennial team event, she won two of her three matches and handed the experienced Paula Creamer a 5 & 4 drubbing in the singles to inspire Europe to their first victory on U.S. soil.
Hull was completely swept up by the whole whirlwind experience and she says it is a struggle to remember too much detail from that remarkable week in Colorado.
“I played in the Canadian Open, my first LPGA Tour event as a professional, the week after the Solheim,” the Englishwoman told Reuters in an interview held during the European Masters at the Buckinghamshire Golf Club just outside London.
”I was a couple of shots off the lead after three rounds so with that and what happened before, those weeks were all a bit of a blur.
“I can’t really remember too much about them but what I do remember is that I’d never had peanut butter before the Solheim. I tried it and that was all I ate that week,” giggled Hull.
“I would walk into the players’ team room, the doorman would say, ‘There’s some peanut butter on the table for you Charley’, I’d say ‘Thank you’ and eat a whole pot of it. I put on a few pounds that week.”
Hull certainly made a weighty impression on the golfing world in 2013, winning the Rookie of the Year title after accumulating 10 top-10 finishes in 15 appearances on the Ladies European Tour (LET).
The world number 47 says she did not realize at the time just how much of an impact she made in her first year on the circuit.
“Looking back now it was a pretty big deal and it was great because it kick-started my career,” added the bubbly Hull, who was two strokes behind second-round leader Alex Peters of England after the second round at the Buckinghamshire on Friday.
”At the end of the day though, it’s only a game. I’ve always said my main thing is to enjoy being young because I can’t get these years back.
“I‘m working hard on my game but I don’t want to play in too many tournaments as I still want to go out with my friends,” said the 19-year-old Hull who captured her first LET victory at the 2014 Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco.
“Hopefully I‘m going to be playing this game for another 20 years or so. I‘m taking it slow and trying to enjoy it because then I won’t have quite so much pressure.”
With four points-counting events for the Solheim Cup still to come after this week’s European Masters, Hull is among the eight automatic qualifiers for captain Carin Koch’s 12-strong team for the Sept. 18-20 matches in Germany.
The teenager explained that she wanted to make sure that she continued to maintain the right balance between work and play.
“I’ve been working hard since I was young because I’ve had to make a lot of sacrifices to get to where I am now,” said Hull.
”Some people are just golf, golf, golf and last year I was just golf, golf, golf. I didn’t go out with my friends at all and my game went downhill.
”Then I let my hair down a little bit and started to play really good again. You’ve got to turn on and turn off.
“I never set myself goals. I think that taking one shot at a time leads to a good hole, a good nine holes, a good round, a good tournament and then a good world ranking.”
Editing by Ken Ferris