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Charley Hull’s smoking video goes viral but English hopeful faces another missed major chance

Charley Hull – Charley Hull's smoking video goes viral but English hopeful faces another missed major chance
Charley Hull - Getty Images/Sarah Stier

Charley Hull was hoping to achieve rather more from the US Women’s Open than becoming the subject of a viral video of her smoking cigarettes, but England’s highest ranked golfer – of either gender – seems destined to see another major title elude her capable grasp.

A third-round 72 was far from disastrous at a Pennsylvania layout that has only re-emphasised the US Golf Association’s reputation as the sadist of course layout, but Hull, 28 years old, required much lower to get herself into the mix.

The world No 8 is nine-over and bar something exceptional will fail to emulate her heroics when finishing second last year in the female game’s most illustrious.

After an opening 75, Hull has battled back with a pair of two-overs, which on the brutal test that is the Lancaster Country Club can, at the very least, be described as commendable.

Of course, the USGA is infamous for producing examinations in the male US Open that are regularly regarded as searching to the point of being unfair, and although the players this week at the William Flynn creation have not whinged there is no doubt that the challenge has been on the brink.

Nelly Korda, the world No 1 who came in having won six of her last seven events, missed the cut, as did other big names such as defending champion Allisen Corpuz, Rose Zhang and Brooke Henderson.

Golf never does follow neat scripts, but it was especially disappointing that Korda – who shot an 80 in the first round - is absent on a weekend when the women’s sport is obviously desperate for the exposure.

In part, Hull, this wonderfully unreconstructed individual from Kettering, has done her bit by grabbing attention on social media. It has been an open secret for a few months that this gym-lover has taken up smoking and Telegraph Sport understands that the TV footage has been at pains to cut away when she is mid-puff.

But the lenses caught her this week and there was a humorous moment when Korda approached Hull and showed her the incriminating evidence. Together with Megan Khang, the trio erupted into huge laughter.

Hull, a supremely talented ball-striker who has spoken publicly about being diagnosed with ADHD, is known as a one-off and if the reports from Pennsylvania are accurate, her legend as a unique character is set to grow. When asked why she has the habit, Hull apparently told the reporter: “Because I want to give up vaping.”

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