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Hull (70) off to strong start at ANA Inspiration

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RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – Charley Hull is a long way from her English home, but she feels like Mission Hills is a home away from home.

With a 2-under-par 70 Thursday, Hull got herself in contention in the first round of the ANA Inspiration. She’s just three shots off the lead.

Hull first played the Kraft Nabisco Championship as an amateur when she was 16. She tied for 38th. She tied for seventh in her return as a pro last year. It’s her best finish in seven major championship appearances.

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“It almost feels a bit like home, in a way, to my pro career, or to playing in pro tournaments,” Hull said.

Hull, 19, was the Ladies European Tour Rookie of the Year in 2013. She introduced herself to American audiences in a big way that year, helping the Europeans win the Solheim Cup in a record rout at the Colorado Golf Club.

She claimed her first professional title last year, taking the Lalla Meryem Cup, which helped her win LET’s the Order of Merit. She won LPGA rookie membership with conditional status this year via Q-School, and she tied for seventh at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open in her rookie debut in February.