Teens Hull, Ko start fast at Women's British Open


Two teenagers are making the Ricoh Women’s British Open look like child’s play.

British teen sensation Charley Hull, 16, shot a 1-under 71 Thursday in her Open debut to sit one shot off the lead at Royal Liverpool. That is one shot better than 15-year-old Lydia Ko, a winner three weeks ago in Canada, and world No. 1 Yani Tseng.

A member of the victorious Great Britain & Ireland team at this year’s Curtis Cup, Hull is making her fifth pro start of the season. Her best finish previously was a fifth at the Turkish Airlines Ladies Open. She also tied for 38th at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the LPGA’s first major of the year.

On Thursday in Hoylake, England, Hull birdied two of the first five holes, bogeyed No. 8 and closed with 10 consecutive pars to post 1 under, tied with Karrie Webb, Ai Miyazato and Jiyai Shin, last week’s winner, among others.

Haeji Kang and So Yeon Ryu are the first-round leaders, at 2-under 70.

“I pretend I’m just playing with my mates,” Hull said, according to the BBC. “I know it’s a major, but that’s how I try to treat it and I wasn’t very nervous because I don’t have any expectations.”

The same can’t be said for Ko, whose record-breaking victory Aug. 26 in Canada became worldwide news. In only her second career major, she entered the tournament with 25-to-1 odds.