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?
Laura 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 84 professional victories 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.
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 golf course, the two players, despite emerging in very different eras of the game, are in many ways very 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 Charley Hull ever supplant Laura Davies as the greatest British female golfer of all time?
Laura Davies Achievement: Four Major Titles
Can Charley 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 with Women & Golf 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, and a good start to the season, we’d love to think her major tally could begin as soon as the end of this month.
With a ton of talent and determination, it’s hard to believe Charley won’t claim at least four major victories before her career is out.
Laura Davies Achievement: 84 Professional Victories
Can Charley Surpass It? No
In a career which has so far spanned over four decades, Davies has earned 45 LET titles, more than any other golfer, and has also won 20 times on the LPGA.
It’s hard to imagine that Hull’s trophy cabinet could reach such proportions, if only because the standard of competition against which Hull is competing is so much higher.
If you narrow it down to LPGA victories however, the target looks a lot 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 at thirteen, could Hull’s mind and body ever endure playing competitively over such a long period?
Laura Davies Achievement: Twelve Solheim Cup Appearances
Can Charley Surpass It? No
Laura 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 twelve appearances, and is also the highest point scorer in the contest’s history, having earned 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’s record is truly remarkable. Sorry Charley, we’re giving this one to Laura.
With Davies not emerging on Tour until she was twenty-two, it's clear that Hull has achieved far more than Laura had at the same age. Hull, who turned twenty-one on Monday, has already competed in two Solheim Cups and won on both the Ladies European Tour and the LPGA Tour.
Her talent suggests that the Woburn member 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.
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