Dubai: England’s Charley Hull secured the Ladies European Tour’s Rookie of the Year award after finishing tied for eighth at the season-ending Omega Dubai Ladies Masters here on Saturday.
Hull, 17, shot 71 on her final day to add to earlier rounds of 70, 72 and 73, finishing at two under par 286 for the tournament, 10 strokes ahead of her nearest challenger for the award, Holly Clyburn.
Clyburn, 22, who was €11,337 behind Hull in the moneylist coming into this event, had to finish in the top three while hoping Hull ended below fourth in order to leapfrog her fellow countrywoman at the last hurdle. However, Clyburn could only finish tied for 39th place at eight over par after rounds of 75, 72, 70 and 79.
Having started her career with five consecutive second-place finishes, totalling 10 top 10s in her debut season, as well as becoming the youngest member of a Solheim Cup team, Hull was delighted to end her year on a high.
“It’s a great honour,” she said. “Definitely up there with the Solheim Cup win and all my second-place finishes. So it’s good to top it off with that. It’s another top 10 so it’s a good way to end the year.
“It was tough competition. Holly is a great player and I see a future of me and Holly battling it out, which is good as it’s been good fun.”
In the final round, Hull’s two birdies were blemished by three outward bogeys, while Clyburn had a round containing two double bogeys, three bogeys and two birdies.
“It was over before it started, really,” said Clyburn, who won Deloitte Ladies Open in May and followed it up with a further two top-10 finishes. “I was disgusted with how I played today. I’m a fighter, I always fight but it just didn’t happen for me today and I knew it wouldn’t from the start when I made a double-bogey on four. It was all in her [Hull’s] hands.
“She played well and came out fighting. She’s won something now so that should take the pressure off her and do her the world of good. The press has been on top of her all the time so maybe next year it will be quiet and she can relax.”