The Road (Slightly) Less Traveled
By Torleif Sorenson on 9/25/13
17-year-old Solheim Cup heroine Charley Hull, whose stunning 5 & 4 take-down of Paula Creamer helped boost Team Europe to their first-ever victory in the U.S., has canceled her Q-School plans. Although Hull and her family typically spend winters in Florida, Hull decided she needed to have more time on the Ladies European Tour.
"We applied for (Q-School) pre-Solheim Cup, never thinking the [sponsor] invitation route would get her enough starts," Joe McQuade, Hull’s manager, wrote in an email to "Post-Solheim, we sat down and had a good think about things and decided that as Charley is so young, she wouldn't want to be in the States and away from home for her entire schedule, and that her exposure through the Solheim will hopefully have given her sufficient publicity to attract the maximum six invitations. These, together with competitions such as the U.S. Open, etc., that she can qualify for, will give her a nice balance between USA and European events.

"Whilst I know Charley is drawn to the States, she still wants to give support to the European tour, which is where her professional career began."
In this writer's opinion, any LPGA tournament organizer who doesn't think Hull deserves an invitation to their event isn't smart enough to be in charge. And given that Lexi Thompson has already played her way onto the LPGA Tour, with Lydia Ko soon to follow, Hull and her parents and manager are quite justified in side-stepping Q-School. Golf Channel's Randall Mell speculates that Hull might be able to play as many as ten U.S. tournaments in 2014. And if, for some strange reason, she doesn't qualify for the 2014 U.S. Women's Open at Pinehurst #2, the USGA would be foolish to not extend a special invitation to her.

In sports, golf really is the ultimate meritocracy. But it is now obvious that Q-School is not the only way to get onto the big stages.

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Image via Wikipedia, Wojciech Migda

[ comments ]
joe jones says:
I wish that the advisors to other young stars would use this common sense approach when they are plotting a players future. If Michelle Wei's father had done this instead of being greedy, Michelle would have done far better on the tour. All too many parents live their lives vicariously through their kids and it always leads to problems.
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