Dubai: England’s Holly Clyburn is refusing to concede the Ladies European Tour Rookie of the Year award to Charley Hull, despite trailing her countrywoman by two shots after the penultimate round of the season-ending Omega Dubai Ladies Masters at Emirates Golf Club on Friday.
Hull, 17, was the highest-ranked rookie on the money-list with €124,144 (Dh620,681) in earnings before the Dubai event, €11,337 ahead of Clyburn.
Clyburn, 22, can still surpass Hull with a third-place finish here, provided her rival finishes below fourth.
And with Clyburn tied for 21st at one over par (75, 72, 70) and Hull tied for 11th at one under (70, 72, 73), the final day could still prove dramatic.
“It’s not over, I’m not a write-off, I’m still in it,” Clyburn said after hitting four outward birdies and one bogey before returning with three bogeys and two birdies for a two under par round on Friday.
Hull dropped one shot on day three, cancelling out two early birdies with a double fault and a bogey.
“If I get out of the blocks quick enough tomorrow [Saturday], I can still do it. If I shoot a couple under, hopefully, I won’t be too far away. It will be close. It will be a good race and an exciting Saturday,” Clyburn added.
“We’ll see if Charley can deal with the pressure. I’ve got no pressure on me, so we’ll just see.
“Nothing is impossible on this course — if you miss fairways and you’re in the rough, you’ve got be strong to get it out. I’ve seen a couple of girls struggle over the past couple of days and it’s not easy, the greens are getting faster each day.”
If Hull were to win the Rookie of the Year title, it would be a victory for consistency, with the youngster starting her career with five consecutive second-place finishes and totalling nine top-ten finishes overall this season. Meanwhile, Clyburn has enjoyed one win and two additional top-ten finishes.
“She’s played well enough this year to close it out,” Clyburn said. “The focus has all been on her, so I just have to go out and play golf. But, to be fair, she’s played well enough to have the attention and, if she wants the attention, she can have it. If I play well enough, I’ll get the attention. That’s how it is.”