England’s world number nine, Charley Hull, will not be considered for the Curtis Cup team by the LGU after accepting an invitation to play in the first women’s Major of the year.
The timing of the Kraft Nabisco Championship, which starts in California on March 29, means Charley will miss the Curtis Cup team trial at Nairn, Scotland, from March 23-25.
Charley, like the other GB&I Curtis Cup squad members, had signed a player agreement to attend the trial. As a result of her change of plan, the LGU says she has made herself unavailable for selection and will not be considered for the biennial match against the USA.
Charley, 15, (Woburn) is the English and Welsh strokeplay champion and a winner in January’s Harder Hall Invitational on Florida’s Orange Blossom Tour. Her successes and high ranking had led to her inclusion in the invitation to “five of the world’s leading amateurs” to play in the Kraft Nabisco.
John Petrie, chief executive of England Golf commented: “While player agreements are important, the aim is to win the Curtis Cup. For a 15-year-old player, ranked ninth in the world, to be invited to play in one of golf’s Majors is an outstanding achievement and for Charley to be punished for her success makes no sense.
“I hope the LGU has sufficient flexibility to revisit this decision and be able to select the best eight players for the team. The only winner here is the USA Curtis Cup team”.
The LGU’s decision has prompted Twitter traffic with comments such as ‘baffled’, ‘amazed’ and ‘bureaucracy run mad’. England’s Karen Stupples, a former Women’s British Open champion, tweeted: “For what it's worth Charley is making the right decision to play in Kraft, the experience gained from it is priceless.” Scotland’s Catriona Matthew, another past Open champion, said: “Ridiculous! Surely the LGU would want to have their best possible team. Charley would and should be a lock regardless.”
Charley is playing in the Spanish championship this week. Her place in the GB&I Curtis Cup squad has been taken by the reserve, England international Georgia Hall, also 15, of Remedy Oak, Dorset.
The Curtis Cup match will take place from June 8-10 at Nairn, Scotland.
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