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Teen Sensations Wow French Galleries

EVIAN-LES-BAINS, FRANCE | “Oh, la la!” was an oft-repeated exclamation as the crowd followed the 16-year-old Lydia Ko and two 17-year-olds – Charley Hull and China’s Xi Yu Lin – in the first two rounds of the Evian Championship, the LPGA’s fifth major. Some locals were smitten by the youngsters’ shotmaking; others were more intent on drawing humorous comparisons between their own somewhat apathetic teenagers and this high-achieving trio. For the record, Hull finished second in each of her first five professional events while Ko, though still an amateur, already has won four professional titles. Lin, for her part, finished in a share of 17th place in this year’s Women’s British Open. Lin has appeared only infrequently on this side of the world but Hull and Ko know each other pretty well; they played three rounds in each other’s company as Ko won the recent Canadian Women’s Open. Annika Sörenstam is just one to note that they have plenty in common. “Lydia and Charley are old and young at the same time,” said this winner of 10 majors. “They are different from other girls.” The maturity is something she sees most in their golf and in their dealings with the press. In terms of the former, there was a shrewd hole for both at the 155-yard 16th on Friday. Ko, after taking one club too many off the tee, opted for a wedge instead of a putter from the back quarter of what was an impossibly dipping and heaving putting surface. The shot had worked for her at St. Andrews and now it worked again as she chipped to eight feet and made off with her par. “The best moment,” she said at the end of her 68.


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