Sunday, October 2, 2022

Charlie Hull won The Ascendant LPGA to end a 6-year winless drought on the Tour. CBC Sports

Charlie Hull took a little extra time to practice and it paid off in a big way for him on Sunday when he drove four birdies on the last nine for 7-under 64 to win The Ascendant LPGA.

Hull won the LPGA Tour for the first time in nearly six years, and the 26-year-old from England crossed the US$1 million mark in season earnings.

She loved the final-hour theater at Old American Golf Club as much as soaking herself with champagne when she held one for a one-shot victory.

“I found it exciting,” Hull said. “When Janet made the eagle at 17, I enjoyed it. It inspired me to birdie one last time. It was so much fun.”

Janet is the nickname of China’s Ziyu Lin, and she roars into the mix with a 12-foot birdie putt on the par-3 16th and then a 35-foot eagle putt on the par-5 17th. This gave Lynn part of the lead, but only momentarily.

Hull hit a lob wedge from 78 yards to 4 feet on the 17th and made a shot leading up to the final hole for his final birdie.

On the 18th the pin was completely backwards, with a large sliver of green left. Hull went to the flag, pulled it slightly and saw that it rested on the collar on the left side of the flag. Lynn, who closed with 65, kept his approach on the green, inside the hull.

Lynn’s birdie putt lost playoff momentum and just missed to the left. It was his third runner-up this year, and second in the previous month. When it was over he wiped away the tears.

“It’s funny, my coach and I had a joke, trying to see how high I can get in the world rankings without winning. I mean, it’s not fun, but it’s fun,” Lin said. “Any other week, I mean there are 140 players out there and I came in second. It sucks, but on the other hand, it’s good.”

Lydia Ko was also in the mix and tied for the lead until she missed a couple of birdies from inside 10 feet. She scored 65 and finished third, which moved Ko to the top of the race in the CME Globe standings.

No one could keep up with the plow. He started with a 5ft tack for the birdie at number 12, and then hit a brilliant pitch from behind the green on the par 5 of 2 feet from the 13th. She was watching anxiously that by the 14th her stance was up in the air, and it settled for another birdie, 12 feet away.

Hull was so dialed in that he had chances on the next two holes from within 10 feet and missed them. But she kept on till the end.

look | Canada’s Szerik 2 strokes through to the final round:

Canadian Maddy Szerik 2nd makes final round in Texas

Szeryk hit a gorgeous approach shot on the par 4 15th hole to finish the day at 4-under par.

“I’ve done some good work this year,” said Hull, who now has two LPGA wins and three titles on the Ladies European Tour. “I told my coach a few weeks ago, ‘This is what we need to work on to get into the winner’s circle.’

“I could have made a few more birdies,” she said. “Hit good putts and just rolled over the edge. I’m so proud of myself.”

Thailand’s 19-year-old Athaya Thitikul, who won in Arkansas last week, needed a win to reach No. 1 in the women’s world rankings. She scored 67 and finished fourth alone, moving ahead of Nelly Korda to No.

Maddy Szerik of London, Ont., who entered the final round with a two-shot lead, scored 76 on the day and finished at 4-under overall. Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ont., scored 71 on the day to close the tournament at 3 under total.

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