Dubai: England’s Charley Hull is targeting victory at this week’s Dh 2.5 million Omega Dubai Ladies Masters in order to secure the Ladies European Tour’s Rookie of the Year Award.
Hull, 17, is the highest ranked rookie in the money-list with €124,144 (Dh620,000) in earnings, closely followed by her compatriot and childhood friend Holly Clyburn who is just €11,337 behind.
Clyburn needs to finish third and hope Hull finishes below fourth in order to leapfrog her rival at the season-ending event, which starts on Wednesday at Emirates Golf Club. However, if Hull misses the cut, Clyburn can finish as low as eighth and still steal the honours.
Meanwhile, Germany’s Ann-Kathrin Lindner — who is €59,061 behind Hull — stands an outside chance of overtaking both Hull and Clyburn provided she can win the tournament outright.
“I’m not going to be thinking about it too much to be honest,” said Hull, who started her debut season with five consecutive second place finishes, totalling nine top-10s while also becoming the youngest ever member of a Solheim Cup team in August.
“I’m just going to hit a shot, find it, and hit it again. That’s what I always say because then it can lead to a good result. It would just top off everything I’ve done this year, because I’ve had a lot of top 10s. But a victory here would prove to myself that I can win and not just finish second.” Of Clyburn, 22, who won the Deloitte Ladies Open in Holland and recorded two additional top tens in her first professional year, Hull added: “She probably has to get into the top ten [to overtake me] and she could easily do that. But I just want to concentrate on trying to win the tournament.
“I’ve known Holly for quite a while now. I remember first playing with Holly when I was 11 and we halved our match. I remember having a five-foot putt on the last to beat her and I missed.
“We’ve not had a rivalry but from then on, we’ve always been in the same competitions. It’s always good to have someone in your rookie year who is like a friend to play against.
“And for English golf, it’s fantastic to have two players coming up and having a great rookie year and beating a lot of people on Tour.”