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Walton Heath 2023

"It would be unbelievable"


Hull daring to dream of home triumph

Charley Hull with her caddie after her third round

Charley Hull storming to a share of the AIG Women’s Open lead has denied her a night at the boxing but the home favourite is instead dreaming of landing a knockout blow on Championship Sunday.

The 27-year-old caught fire down the stretch on Moving Day at Walton Heath, three straight birdies between the 15th and 17th propelling her into a brief outright lead to the delight of the hordes cheering her every shot from behind the ropes.

She will begin on Sunday joined by Lilia Vu on nine-under-par, the pair a shot clear of Hyo Joo Kim and Angel Yin, leaving Hull delighted by how she coped with conditions on day three after reeling in runaway overnight leader Ally Ewing.

“It was so windy today but we dug deep,” she said. “I struck the ball pretty well.

“I was pretty confident and felt good out there, and I'm pretty proud of myself, so can't wait to just chill tonight.

“Another late tee time tomorrow, so have the whole afternoon. I was going to the boxing match at 10.30, but by the time I get home, I'll be in too much of a rush. I gave it to my friends, so hopefully they will enjoy it.

“Tomorrow, I just want to go out there and do the same game plan I have every day. It depends on the weather and depends where I hit it, but I want to just be aggressive and make birdies.”

As the leading English hope heading into Saturday, in which she was part of the penultimate group, the pressure was on Hull but she could not have asked for a better start.

An opening birdie was immediately cancelled out by a bogey at the second, and it took her until the 8th to make further inroads – when a magnificent approach set up a routine birdie putt.

The 11th has been to Hull’s liking this week and she picked up a shot there for a third consecutive day before responding in style to a bogey at 14 with her hat-trick of birdies.

Her par save down the last could yet prove just as vital, Hull finding heather off the tee but recovering with the aid of a perfectly-judged chip to set up a tap-in.

Hull came into this week having never finished in the top 10 of her home Championship and she missed the cut when Georgia Hall became the most recent English winner at Royal Lytham & St Annes in 2018.

And that achievement is spurring Hull on as she looks to follow in her compatriot’s footsteps.

“It would be absolutely unbelievable,” she added.

“What Georgia did in 2018, that was unbelievable. To do that again would be unreal. But I have to take it one step at a time and just go out there and have fun.

“Golf is a game. It's a sport and you play it because it's fun, and I just enjoy it. I like to enjoy it on the golf course, and good or bad, I love it.”

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