Was it as easy as it looked? Maybe. Charley Hull took the 36-hole lead at The Ascendant LPGA benefiting Volunteers of America on Friday, firing a tournament-best seven-under 64 to lead by two heading into the weekend.
The weather on Thursday at Old American Golf Club in The Colony, Texas, was cold and windy, and while Friday was a little better, the conditions still weren’t ideal for scoring.
Yet Hull still turned in the best round of the day — in large part due to her putter and committed practice.
“When I was home I was working quite hard on my putting because I felt like that’s the boringest part of the game to practice,” she said Friday. “I don’t practice it as much as I should, so I’ve been doing like two hours each day and just trying to fix it.”
It apparently paid off. Hull entered the week ranked 98th in putts per round (30.17) but needed just 25 putts on Thursday and 24 on Friday.
As for managing the tricky grain of the greens, she even got some help there. Hull said she doesn’t see well in shades and colors.
“I get my caddie to tell me where the grain is and I read my putt from there,” Hull said. “I’m doing surprisingly well. But in the offseason I worked a bit with my coach on some grain and stuff in Dubai, so I felt like it has helped a lot, especially for these kind of events.”
Hull started on the back nine on Friday and made three birdies and six pars to turn in three-under 33, but she got hot on the second nine: five birdies and just one bogey. She had a stretch in the second round when she made five birdies in an eight-hole stretch.
“I actually can’t really remember much of my round because I was so focused,” she said. “I didn’t know what my score was when I was coming in.
“Yeah, I just feel like the putter was very strong today.”
Hull leads Atthaya Thitikul (who won last week) and Xiyu Lin by two, Lindy Duncan by three and a trio that includes Jessica Korda by four. Hull’s final threesome tees off for its third round at 10:43 a.m. ET on Saturday. You can follow the action from 1-4 p.m. ET on Golf Channel.