Mar 29th, 2017
ANA Inspiration 2017
How are Britain’s contenders shaping up?
Words: John Dean Photography: Getty Images
This week sees the first women’s golf major of the year at the ANA Inspiration at Mission Hill Country Club, Rancho Mirage. But how are Britain’s leading contenders shaping up?
Well, not so good as it happens, with injury struggles for both Melissa Reid and Charley Hull getting in the way of their preparations.
Hull problem lies with a wrist injury and she said: "It's an old fracture and always going to be there."
Hull pulled out of last week’s Kia Classic when her wrist injury flared up again from hitting out of the rough.
"It's like a chip out of the bone and I inflamed it," added the 21–year-old.
Meanwhile Melissa has a back problem, which led her to miss the cut at Carlsbad last week and says she is still only "80% fit."
"I should be fine to play this week. I will sleep with it strapped and do everything else except golf with it strapped but when I play I will take it off."
She told BBC Sport: "I've really struggled with my back, I think I only had one practice day in 10 going into last week so I went there to kind of prep for this week more than anything."
"It's kind of good in a way because I'm not expecting very much this week, it would be a bonus if I played well," she said. "I'm just trying to do my maintenance. It is a long process for me to be fully fit and keeping healthy is the main thing."
It's a big year for Melissa now that she has at last secured her playing rights on the LPGA Tour, so the injury problems must be a big frustration for her.
"I would honestly say that was the biggest achievement in my career, coming through Q school," said Melissa, who has won six times of the Ladies European Tour, but not on a wider stage.
"I put a lot of pressure on myself to get it. I didn't want to play full time in Europe any more and I wanted the option of playing in America as well.
"I needed it for my career, I felt I had got a little bit stale out in Europe and this where I want to be. I want to be with the best golfers in the world playing some of the best tournaments in the world.
"It's given me my hunger back for the game. I want to say it is life changing and we are considering moving out here at the end of the year."
We'll be rooting for Melissa, and with low expectations due to her injury maybe we will be in for a pleasant surprise!