Coast star has one Hull of finish
KATHERINE Hull is primed to make a charge at the LPGA Championship and US Women's Open after rediscovering her groove at the ShopRite Classic in New Jersey yesterday.
The 30-year-old from Sunrise Beach claimed her best result in almost two years when she carded a score of eight-under par to finish second behind American Stacy Lewis in the $1.5 million event at Galloway.
The result comes as welcome relief for Hull, who went winless and missed the cut six times in 2010, when she endured a relationship breakdown and a painful back injury.
"My coach (Steve McRae) and I kind of sat down at the start of the year and figured it would take a few months just to get some momentum," she said.
"We're kind of ironing out a few things with my game so I'm happy to be finding some form now and I'm looking forward to the second half of the season."
Now, Hull has her sights on the lucrative LPGA Championship at New York, which starts on Thursday, and the coveted US Women's Open, at Wisconsin, next month.
"I've just got to tighten up a few things and hopefully I can back this week up, which would be nice," she said.
Hull is expected to rocket into the top-20 on the tour's money list following her effort in New Jersey.
After starting with an opening round of even-par, Hull found form off the tee on day two.
She hit every fairway during a stunning round of five-under par which moved her into third place, but seven strokes adrift of runaway leader Lewis.
Hull then held her nerve to shoot three-under par on the final day to finish a shot clear of Japan's Mika Miyazato and Spain's Azahara Munoz and four shots behind Lewis.
"Catching her (Lewis) was going to be hard. She's playing great. So I think it was probably more a battle for second place," Hull said of the final round.
"You've just got to be patient out here, and fortunately I put a good round on the board and I'm really happy to finish second.
"I had three birdies on the last four holes, so that was kind of the key to the round really.
"Nothing was happening on the front nine, where I made a couple bad swings, but I was able to finish with two birdies which was really nice."
Still, the former world top-10 player and two-time tour event winner admitted to being on edge during the closing stages.
"On 17 it was funny. I was looking at the leader board on the 16th green and my caddie said, hey, eyes forward," she said.
"He wanted me to stay focused on the process and I was able to do that which is nice."