Memorable moments: Charley Hull's age-defying debut

Sensational individual performances and the Solheim Cup have gone hand in hand since the biennial transatlantic matchplay contest first came into being in 1990.

While the pinnacle of women’s golf is primarily a team event, as the best players from Europe and the USA go head to head, solo stars often emerge over the course of the three days.

This was certainly the case during the 2013 edition, with Caroline Hedwall creating history by becoming the first player on either side to claim the maximum five points.

Anna Nordqvist also became the first ever Solheim Cup player to fire a hole-in-one – but it was the age-defying performance of a young Charley Hull that will live long in the memory of many.

In the latest entry to our memorable Solheim Cup moments series, here’s a look back at how the then 17-year-old produced a nerveless display to help Europe to a stunning triumph.

HULL SHOWS NO FEAR

Hull was selected as a wildcard by European captain Liselotte Neumann for the 2013 Solheim Cup, having finished second in the first five events of her debut season.

As a result, she became the youngest player in the competition’s history at just 17 years, four months and 26 days old – beating the record previously held by USA’s Paula Creamer.

But despite having only been in the senior ranks for a few months, Hull showed no fear ahead her debut as she prepared to enter the fierce arena of the Solheim Cup.

“I’m sure every player will be nervous when they tee it up,” she said. “But I don’t see why, just because I’m the youngest and most inexperienced, I should feel more pressure than anybody else. 

“I’m just going to go out there, feel the passion, and whack it around the course as well as I can. I’m not going to let it get to me.”

LET

RISING TO THE OCCASION

Hull was left out of the Friday morning foursomes in favour of her more experienced counterparts, a decision that paid off after Europe opened up a 3-1 lead against the USA.

Her first chance to shine came in the afternoon fourballs, where she was paired with Solheim Cup stalwart Catriona Matthew to take on Christie Kerr and Michelle Wie.

It was a tough opening assignment for the youngster and the match ended in a 2&1 victory for the Americans, who finished the opening day of action in Colorado trailing 5-3.

But, after sitting on the sidelines for the morning foursomes again, Hull came into her own on Saturday as she teamed up with Jodi Ewart Shadoff to take on Paula Creamer and Lexi Thompson.

Hull hit one of the Solheim Cup’s great shots on the 17th to help down the formidable American pairing, with the 2-up victory ensuring Europe swept the fourballs 4-0.

LET

A STAR IS BORN IN DENVER

After seeing her stock rise after Saturday afternoon’s display, Hull carried her momentum into her singles showdown on Sunday as she faced Creamer once again.

Trusted by her captain to go out second, and with the pressure on the American with her side trailing 10.5-5.5, Hull produced her best performance of the weekend to win 5&4.

The match was all square after six holes before Hull turned on the style, winning five of the next seven holes to put the match out of reach of former US Open Women’s champion Creamer.

She even responded to Creamer’s bunker hole-out on 13 by knocking in a birdie putt to halve the hole, while the margin of victory could have been greater had birdie putts fallen on the second, fourth and eighth.

Her performance ensured the European side became the first ever to win on American soil as they finished with the largest winning margin (18-10) and retained the cup for the first time.
 

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