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With rebuilt swing, Hull vying for first major win

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RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – Charley Hull has quietly rebuilt her game for a moment like Sunday at the ANA Inspiration.

Hull, the 20-year-old Englishwoman, says she would love to do a belly flop into Poppie’s Pond, and she is bringing a game to the final round that just might help her do so.

With four consecutive birdies to close the third round, Hull posted a 3-under-par 69, moving two shots off the lead in her bid to win her first LPGA event and first major. She made her move with a swing she has overhauled under Matt Belsham, who also works with European Ryder Cup star Jamie Donaldson. Hull sought Belsham’s help at the start of 2015.

“Matt has completely changed her swing,” said Dave Hull, Charley’s father.

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Dave said Charley used to swing more upright, with a finish more on her toes. Belsham has helped her build a swing from the ground up, with more solid footwork and a stronger turn around her spine.

“She used to fight a block, but she got rid of it,” Dave said. “She’s much more consistent now.”

Dave also said Charley never worked on strength and conditioning until last year. He didn’t want his daughter changing her body while she was still growing as a youngster. He didn’t want her working out until she was 19. So last year, she went to see Justin Rose’s conditioning coaches, and they helped her build a body to give her new swing more stability.

“She’s stronger and more stable,” Dave said.

Charley is in her second full season as an LPGA member. She won the Lalla Meryem Cup on the Ladies European Tour in 2014. She joined the LPGA last year. She’s already a two-time European Solheim Cup member.

Mission Hills is a special place for Hull. She first played the ANA when she was a 16-year-old amateur.

“It was my first ever pro tournament, and it was a major, and I loved it,” Hull said.