By Tony Jimenez
WOBURN, England (Reuters) – British number one Charley Hull looked like the ‘Pied Piper of Woburn’ as she treated her fans to another sparkling exhibition of golf to move into contention at the Ricoh Women’s British Open on Friday.
The 20-year-old, who is playing at her home course this week, delighted family, friends and a host of local schoolchildren in the crowd by firing a two-under 70 in the second round that included a run of five birdies in six holes from the seventh.
Four-times major winner Rory McIlroy caused controversy during the men’s British Open at Royal Troon two weeks ago when he said “I didn’t get into golf to get other people in the game”.
World number 27 Hull, however, clearly takes a different view.
Asked by reporters if she sees herself as having a key role in inspiring youngsters to start taking up the game, she replied: “Yeah, I do, because I’m one of the young English players coming up…I feel like I am a major role model.
“It’s a good feeling. It is part of being a professional golfer, to get people into the game.
“It’s a lot of fun, I enjoy it. It’s great for golf and great for my golf club, Woburn.”
Hull again played alongside world number one Lydia Ko at the fourth women’s major of the season and her 36-hole tally of five-under 139 was five strokes better than the South Korean-born New Zealander.
The only downside for the young Briton, who burst on to the international stage as a 17-year-old with a brilliant performance in Europe’s 2013 Solheim Cup win over the U.S., came when her group was put on the clock for slow play on Friday.
“That came when it was raining so it kind of made me rush and I bogeyed 16,” said Hull. “It was a bit pointless but it’s stuff that you’ve got to deal with.
“I’m usually quite a fast player…so it can put me out a little bit.”
(Editing by Toby Davis)