Hull’s priorities in check as she pursues LPGA card

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Charley Hull doesn’t want to grow up. Not faster than she has to, anyway. The English charmer said the world wouldn’t end if she failed to earn her LPGA card this week. A little more time at home in England among friends and family wouldn’t be so bad.

“You can never get your childhood back,” she said.

It’s a stark contrast to what most super teens say nowadays. Hull, 18, is ranked 37th in the world and is playing LPGA Q-School for the first time. She shot 3-under 69 on the Jones Course at LPGA International to get back to even par. The top 20 players in the field of 154 earn their cards for the 2015 season.

Hull never has liked qualifying schools. Two years ago she missed out on her card at Ladies European Tour but still managed to get along fine. She finished second in her first event on a sponsor exemption and, thanks to the LET’s automatic top-10 rule, got into the next event. Hull placed second five times in a row to start her 2013 rookie season.

This year Hull played in nine LPGA events, finishing tied for seventh at the Kraft, T-12 at the Ricoh Women’s British and tied for third at the Airbus LPGA Classic in Mobile, Ala. The goal was to earn enough money through sponsor invites to avoid Q-School (the equivalent of top 40 on the money list), but she fell short and had to sandwich the final stage in between events in China and Dubai.

“If I didn’t get my card I’m not going to be overly disappointed,” said Hull. “I think I’ll be in quite a few of the majors anyway with my ranking on the LET.”

The pressure she feels, she said, comes from the fact that some people think it’s easy for someone like her to earn a card. But she knows from past experience that anything is possible one week of the year.

In Wednesday’s opening round, Hull missed three greens and failed to get up and down each time, citing difficulty in dealing with unfamiliar Florida grass.

On the second hole of her second round (No. 11), Hull’s ball was buried so deep in a bunker she had to put her hands in the sand to identify it. After recreating the lie, Hull swung so hard to blast it out she tweaked a muscle in her back.

Rest at the nearby Holiday Inn will be in order as this is a marathon week, even for a young jet-setter like Hull. Her 69 vaulted her from T-105 to T-39 with three rounds remaining.

Should Hull get her card for 2015, she said she’ll likely still play a few events in Europe to stay close to home.

“There’s no rush at the moment for me,” she said. “I know I want to be the best as soon as possible, but I still want to enjoy it.”

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