Charley and the birdie factory is perfect for Europe

The 19-year-old Hull won both her matches, alongside fellow Englishwoman Melissa Reid and Gwladys Nocera of France, as Europe moved into a strong position in their bid to land a hat-trick of victories in the women’s version of the Ryder Cup.


Asked by Reuters to describe the bubbly blonde teenager’s performance at the St Leon-Rot Golf Club, Swede Koch replied: “Awesome. Excellent. Fantastic.

“She’s just a great person to have on the team, there are a lot of laughs around her. She’s a lot of fun but also one of the top players.

“She’s young and fresh. It’s great. It wouldn’t be the same without her on the team.”

Hull, who reeled off five back-nine birdies in a row as she and Nocera beat Alison Lee and Angela Stanford 3 and 2 in the afternoon fourballs, was also the standout performer as a 17-year-old when Europe won the biennial event in Colorado in 2013.

Koch said she gave her 12-strong team a pep talk on Thursday night and they carried out her instructions perfectly.

“I told them to go and enjoy the crowds and the stage they are on this week,” said the Swede.

“I think they all did that. It looked like they were having a lot of fun all day. I couldn’t be more pleased with them.”

A thunderstorm in the afternoon caused a 65-minute interruption that meant two of the fourballs will have to be completed on Saturday.

“We are going to have to do a little rallying in the morning,” said U.S. captain Juli Inkster.

“I’ll tell them tonight what I saw out there, I’ll be honest with them. But I know, because I’ve played in many of these things, that it’s not easy.

“I thought some of our girls played a little tight and I’d like to see them loosen up a little bit,” added Inkster, a veteran of nine Solheim Cups as a player.

“I thought we were a little tentative on putting, the speed of their putts weren’t great. The Europeans made a tonne of birdies and in fourballs you’ve got to make birdies, pars aren’t going to win.”

(Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes)