Charley Hull won the first Rose Ladies Series Event in some style after defeating home heroine Liz Young with a birdie on the first extra hole at Brokenhurst Manor Golf Club in the New Forest, Hampshire, England.
Spectators weren’t allowed inside the venue due to government social distancing guidelines but they would have been treated to a fantastic tournament and a thrilling finale which went to a play-off.
Both players carded level par rounds of 70 in overcast and windy conditions. Young, who organised the event at her home club, played in the first group out and set the clubhouse target, but she waited for three and a half hours before Hull matched her score.
The world number 25, Hull was two strokes clear with two holes to play but double bogeyed the par-4 17th hole, after hitting a rescue wood off-line right into a ditch from the tee. She had a chance to birdie the 18th to win in regulation play but missed the putt. The Solheim Cup player then took her chance at the first extra hole, rolling in a similar putt from 12 feet beyond the hole, before being presented with a rose bowl and winner’s cheque for £5,000 by Kate Rose, wife of PGA Tour star Justin, who together sponsored the series.
Hull hadn’t played a competitive round in almost five months, since the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio in Florida in January and she said: “I’m just so happy to be playing professional golf again and have a scorecard in my hand. The golf course was in great condition and it was my first time round here today. I was quite happy with my score. I doubled the 17th, because I took a wrong line off the tee, but it was just great to be playing.
“I’ve missed it loads. I love playing golf. I’m pretty much golfed out because I’ve been playing every day, but I can’t wait to get back out on tour.
“I want to thank Justin and Kate Rose for putting these events on. You need to be playing to get back in the mindset. I’ve been playing a lot for the last few weeks and I played eight days on the trot, but it’s not the same as having a scorecard in your hand. I’ll go back to America in four weeks’ time, so hopefully this will get my brain back into tournament golf.
Young, the world number 503, said that she was pleased with finishing second, especially as she hadn’t played a competitive round in more than six months, since the Magical Kenya Ladies Open in December.
“I was excited and really nervous. It has been a long time since a card was in the hand. I was playing on my own course, so had the home advantage, but I also know where all the trouble is. I was really happy with how I played and level par, because it was playing tough out there. I was playing well in practise and I just hadn’t put much time in on the course. It’s all coming together and I’m just excited that I’ve got another seven tournaments in which to play. This is the start of something great for UK golf and hopefully this will continue.”
Gabriella Cowley finished third on 71, one-over-par, with Hannah Burke in fourth, while Holly Calvert and Alice Hewson, the Investec South African Women’s Open champion, tied for fifth.
There will be a Rose Ladies Series Event played on Thursday each week, leading up to the Grand Final on August 6-7. The opening round will be played at The Berkshire with the final round to be hosted on the famous West Course at Wentworth.