Charley Hull v Laura Davies: British major record is achievable

Women & Golf's Becky Gee believes Charley Hull has the overall game to match the career of Britain's great Laura Davies. 

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Becky Gee
Fri, 24 Mar 2017

Charley Hull v Laura Davies: British major record is achievable

Charley Hull is the next big thing in British golf, but with 84 professional victories to her name can anyone ever surpass Laura Davies as Britain's greatest ever female golfer?

Davies is without doubt the best British female golfer of all time. The four-time major winner has an enormous list of accolades to her name, including being the first non-American to top the LPGA Money List and a seven-time winner of the LET Order of Merit.

With her victory count testament to her extraordinary talent, it’s hard to believe that anybody could possess either the skill or longevity to surpass her litany of golfing achievements.

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Nonetheless, with the emergence of teenage sensation Charley Hull, Britain again has a female star capable of competing at the very top.

Both natural ball strikers with a big presence on the course, the two players, despite emerging in very different eras of the game, are in many ways similar.

But in an age when the LPGA roster is brimming full of seemingly infallible Korean talent and teen sensations like Lydia Ko and Ariya Jutanugarn, could Hull ever supplant Davies as the greatest British female golfer of all time?


 

Chart depicting the rise of wins vs age on the LPGA Tour. Davies won 20 in total, with her last coming at the age of 40. Hull has one, coming at the end of the 2016 season aged 20. Davies won her first LPGA title aged 23, winning the US Women's Open. 

Davies achievement: Four major titles

Can Hull surpass it? Yes

Hull looks like she has all the weapons in her game to score her first major victory in the very near future.

In an exclusive interview last week, Hull expressed her confidence in the run-up to the first major of the year, the ANA Inspiration, and with a second-place finish at the tournament last year, on top of a good start to the season, we’d love to think her major tally could begin as soon as the end of this month.

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With a ton of talent and determination, it’s hard to believe Hull won’t claim at least four major victories before her career is out. 

Four major victories is enough to rank tied 17th in the list of golfers with LPGA major wins. America's Patty Berg won a record 15 between 1937 and 1958. Europe's ladies major record holder is Sweden's Annika Sorenstam who won 10 between 1995 and 2006. 

Davies achievement: 84 professional victories

Can Hull surpass it? No

In a career which has so far spanned over four decades, Davies has earned 45 Ladies European Tour titles, more than any other golfer, and has also won 20 times on the LPGA Tour. 

It’s hard to imagine Hull’s trophy cabinet could reach such proportions, if only because the standard of competition against which Hull is competing is so much higher.

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But if you narrow it down to LPGA victories, however, the target looks much more achievable, although perhaps only if Hull enjoyed a similarly long-ranging career.

It’s also worth questioning whether, having played full-time golf since she left school aged 13, could Hull’s mind and body ever endure playing competitively over such a long period?

Davies achievement: 12 Solheim Cup appearances

Can Hull surpass it? No

Davies is known as much for her phenomenal Solheim Cup record as her numerous victories.

She is the most capped individual on either side with 12 appearances, and is also the highest point scorer in the contest’s history with 25 points.

Hull’s fledgling career has also been shaped by the trans-Atlantic match-up, having become the youngest ever competitor in Solheim Cup history in Colorado three years ago, where she famously beat Paula Creamer only to then ask for her autograph.

But Davies’ record is truly remarkable. Sorry Charley, we’re giving this one to Laura.

With Davies not emerging on Tour until she was 22, it's clear Hull has achieved far more than Laura at the same age.

Hull, who turned 21 on Monday, has already competed in two Solheim Cups and won on both the Ladies European Tour and the LPGA Tour.

The Woburn member's talent suggests she could be the best British golfer in a generation, and if her form continues to improve there is no reason to say she will not amass a host of major victories and LPGA titles.

Can she surpass Laura Davies? Only time will tell.

What do you think? Can Charley Hull become Britain's greatest ever ladies golfer? What do you think it would take to give her that tag? Share your thoughts in our forum, or join us on social media. Keep up to date with the LPGA and LET by visiting Women & Golf Magazine