Charley Hull thought St Andrews golf was '˜played through town'

Charley Hull has history in St Andrews. She first gave a glimpse of her huge potential when starring in a Wee '¨Wonders event in the Fife town at the age of nine. It was '¨also there that she was handed a Solheim Cup wild card in 2013.

Charley Hull would love to be a major winner close to St Andrews. Picture: Getty.

Now she would love to become a major winner close to the home of golf. “I think it will be cool,” said the 21-year-old English player of the Ricoh Women’s British Open heading to a second new venue in successive years, having played the role of local heroine at her home club, Woburn, last summer but admitting she will be happier stepping a bit more out of the spotlight at Kingsbarns on 3-6 August.

“Last year was alright, but I didn’t know the golf course because we were playing it so short,” added Hull, pictured, having finished joint 17th behind Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn. “This year we won’t know what 
score will win it. That will be interesting. It’s better for me playing at a different venue.”

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Hull, who will head into this year’s event as one of the leading hopes to land a first British win since Catriona Matthew claimed the title at Royal Lytham in 2009, chuckled when she recalled that first visit to St Andrews 12 years ago. “I didn’t really understand what it was because I was quite young,” she admitted. “I knew it was the home of golf and recognised the bridge where Jack Nicklaus stood, but I thought you actually played golf through the town. When I came here, I realised it wasn’t actually played through the town.”

Organisers are confident the event’s first visit to Kingsbarns will be a resounding success. “It’s hard to say how many spectators we will get as we are very much weather dependent unlike the Open Championship. But I’d like to think we can get between 40-50,000,” said tournament director Ross Hallett. “Last year at Woburn was a bit higher than that – between 50-55,000. The last time we were at St Andrews (in 2013) was about 40,000.

“We have created three roads coming into the course, so we don’t envisage any issues in that respect.”