GOLF: Relaxed approach is key to Hull victory

Gary Malin with his award at Kingsthorpe Golf Clubs presentation night

Gary Malin with his award at Kingsthorpe Golf Clubs presentation night

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Charley Hull maintains a relaxed approach was a key to her maiden success on the LPGA Tour as she clinched the Tour Championship in Florida.

The 20-year-old carded two bogey-free rounds of 66 over the weekend to set a new record low of 19-under-par 269 to finish two strokes ahead of So Yeon Ryu in the prestigious end-of-season event.

Charley Hull

Charley Hull

Hull, who flew out to the USA after helping to present the trophies to the junior golfers at her home club of Kettering the previous weekend, says she is happy both on and off the golf course.

She said: “This is the first full year on the LPGA Tour, so to win and get the chip off my shoulder feels really good.

“Mentally I feel good - I feel relaxed, I’m confident and I’m happy. I’m just here to have fun and play golf.

“I know how to switch on and switch off because if I’m concentrating too much, I can’t get my rhythm.

“But as the pressure grew on the back nine, I started getting into my swing and found my rhythm.

“When I was a kid my dad taught me to say in my head ‘Severiano’ on my back swing and then ‘Ballesteros’ as I struck through the ball.

“At the Olympics, I used the words ‘Strawberry’ and ‘Mousse’ instead and it seemed to work - I did the same in this event.

“Some players during the off-season take two months off, but I love playing golf, so when I return home I will go out with my lad mates, who play golf, and hit a few balls on a course.”

European Tour

NORTHANTS pros Ryan Evans and Gary Boyd will return to the European Challenge Tour for the 2017 season after failing to regain their cards on the main European Tour.

With Boyd dropping out through illness on the eve of the final stage of Q School at PGA Catalunya in Spain, all County hopes rested with European Tour rookie Evans.

Despite a solid end to the season when he made the cut at the Open Championship and finished third in the Czech Masters, the Wellingborough pro made a poor start as he fired an opening score of 75.

Although he fought back with a brilliant bogey-free 65 the following day, disappointing rounds of 78 and 76 meant that he missed out on competing in the last two rounds.

Kingsthorpe

NORTHANTS second team player Mark Bazeley’s consistency was rewarded by Kingsthorpe Golf Club as he was announced as 2016 Gross Player of the Year at their annual presentation evening.

The Net Player of the Year prize went to Owen Watts after the 14-year-old won the Net Club Championships, Passmore Cup and Parish Joinery Trophy, as well as the County Par Three Championships.

On a busy night of celebrations, when several of the leading players collected prizes, some of the more unfamiliar faces to claim awards included Dave Bandey, Rob Carey, Gary Malin and Ian Grainger.