124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2



'It's lit'

From viral smoking video to a fan giving her his number, Charley Hull embraces wild week at U.S. Women's Open

June 02, 2024
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Sarah Stier

Charley Hull has had a plenty decorated professional golf career. The Englishwoman has won twice on the LPGA Tour, played in six Solheim Cups, and gave a late-Sunday charge at last year's U.S. Women's Open, ripping a fairway wood from under the cypress tree on Pebble Beach's famed 18th to try and chase down her maiden major title. She ended up in a runner-up finish.

However, all of Hull's professional accomplishments took a backseat to the attention she received for a seemingly innocuous moment at this week's U.S. Women's Open. A photo of the No. 8 player in the world signing an autograph at Lancaster Country Club while casually smoking went viral, drawing more eyeballs than most of her golfing career.

"Just one cigarette, it lit up," Hull joked

Hull's moment in the spotlight drew fans to her throughout the championship. Many shouted her name throughout the event, while one was bold enough to try and ask her out to dinner, going with the tried trope of “you dropped something” to hand Hull his number. Hull didn't text him.

The extra recognition outshined her final-round three-under 67, her lowest of the week, to finish tied for 19th at six over.

"It's been a bit of a wild week," Hull laughed. "Pretty cool, and I wish the crowds were like this more often."

Hull's viral moment took her into the TV spotlight as well. Before the championship's first round on Golf Channel's “Live From”, Mel Reid, who played with Hull in three Solheim Cups and was an assistant captain for one of them, told one of the few stories on Hull appropriate for television she could share. During the 2017 Solheim Cup, while Reid and Hull were 1 down on the 16th to Lexi Thompson and Cristie Kerr, Hull had a 12-footer to tie the match up. After draining it, she asked her caddie if he booked her a massage instead of celebrating the crucial putt.

"Her story was pretty much accurate to how I am," Hull said. "Taming a wild animal she's described me as."

Hull's friends joke with her that she should have a reality TV show. Hull believes her personality is muted on the golf course compared to her life at home.

"I'm just me," Hull explained. "You don't know what's coming out of my mouth next. I don't know what's coming out of my mouth next. It's one of them things. I'm just me. I'm not going to change for the world. I'll just be me, and people will either like it or lump it."

It seemed most fans harkened to Hull's hyper-energetic personality, as Hull's agent told her she gained more than 70,000 followers on her Instagram account this week from the added attention.