Golden girl Hull has mixed views on major near miss

Sat Apr 16, 2016 12:55pm EDT
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By Tony Jimenez

LONDON (Reuters) - Charley Hull has mixed feelings about her second-place finish at the first women's major championship of 2016, describing it as a "missed opportunity" but also viewing her performance as a sizeable confidence boost.

The golden girl of British golf burst on to the stage in 2013 when, as the youngest player in the history of the Solheim Cup, the then 17-year-old won two of her three matches to inspire Europe to their first victory on U.S. soil.

Hull's game has continued to progress since then and she came close to landing her first major earlier this month, ending in a share of second place, one stroke behind New Zealander Lydia Ko, in the ANA Inspiration at Mission Hills, California.

"I look back and think it was a missed opportunity but I took a lot of confidence from it as well," the 20-year-old Englishwoman told Reuters in an interview held at Woburn, venue of the $3 million Ricoh Women's British Open from July 28-31.

"It was a great feeling knowing I can perform that well under pressure, knowing I had to make birdies on the back nine and that's what I did, birdying the last hole knowing I needed one to maybe get in a playoff and that's what I did."

Hull's display at Mission Hills came as no surprise, especially as her form has been good this season.

"I've had three top-10s in my first six tournaments this year," said the world number 25. "I feel confident in my game.

"I put in a lot of hard work over Christmas, I'm doing a lot of gym work and trying to eat healthy.   Continued...

Apr 2, 2016; Rancho Mirage, CA, USA; Charley Hull tees off on the 13th hole during the third round of the ANA Inspiration tournament at Mission Hills CC - Dinah Shore Tournament Course. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports