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Charley leads the charge for inaugural title


Ambition: Charley Hull is aiming for top spot
Ambition: Charley Hull is aiming for top spot
Adam McKendry

By Adam McKendry

Solheim Cup star Charley Hull says she can't wait to get out and compete at this week's ISPS Handa World Invitational, presented by Modest! Golf, at Galgorm Castle and Massereene Golf Clubs.

The World No.29 is one of the stand-out names on the women's side of the draw having only confirmed she would be competing last week, but will be one of the in-demand stars across both courses at the tournament.

Hull, a three-time winner across the LPGA and Ladies' European Tours, has long been an advocate for promoting women's golf and, as such, has thrown her full weight behind this week's innovative new event.

The 23-year-old will be the strong favourite to walk away as the first ever winner of the World Invitational women's title, however she will be challenged strongly by local hopefuls Stephanie Meadow and the Maguire twins, Leona and Lisa.

But Hull comes into the event with some good form behind her having finished inside the top-30 in her last three events and is eager to make a big impact.

"It'll be a really interesting week. I played a similar event like this that was also sponsored by ISPS Handa in Australia and that was good fun," said Hull, who will compete in her fourth Solheim Cup at Gleneagles in Scotland next month.

"I'm looking forward to enjoying the experience this time around and taking it all in.

"I'm going to have to play Massereene blind as I've had a busy few weeks, with back-to-back Majors and also Solheim Cup selection and practice at Gleneagles on Monday, but I'm looking to forward to getting back out there and competing," she added.

Lisburn amateur Paula Grant is the first local player to set off at 8.03am from the first tee at Massereene, with Lurgan amateur Annabel Wilson teeing off at the same time from the 10th tee at Galgorm.

They're followed by Leona Maguire at the 10th at Massereene at 8.25, with Clandeboye amateur Jessica Ross teeing off at the 10th hole at Galgorm also at the same time.

Then it's the turn of Lisa Maguire, who gets her first round under way at 8.47 from the first at Massereene, with Meadow off at 1.14pm from the first tee at Galgorm and Lurgan amateur Maeve Cummins rounding off the local stars at 1.58 from the first tee at Massereene.

Of the other notable names in the field, Solheim Cup captain Catriona Matthew partners Leona Maguire at 8.25am, Scotland's Carly Booth begins her tournament at 8.47am from the first tee at Galgorm, England's Meghan MacLaren goes off from the 10th at Massereene, also at 8.47am, and Olivia Cowan is alongside Meadow at 1.14pm.

• Lisburn's Aaron Marshall has reached the match-play stage of the Boys' Amateur Open at Saunton Golf Club in Devon after finishing inside the top-64 in the stroke-play qualifiers.

Belfast Telegraph


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