|Australians Katherine Hull and Karen Lunn are determined to enjoy every minute of the European Nations Cup in Spain this week. |
Australians Katherine Hull and Karen Lunn are determined to enjoy every minute of the European Nations Cup in Spain this week.
The pair will tee up in the 18-nation team event, which begins on Thursday at La Sella Golf Resort in Dénia, Alicante, representing Australia as one of the two invited nations in the field, along with the United States.
Both players admit that it is a dream to be able to represent their home country.
Hull said: “I’m stoked. I was so happy when Karen was talking about it because we don’t get an opportunity; in fact I think this is my first opportunity, as a pro, to represent Australia.
“You always want to do that as a kid and you get to do it in amateur stuff but never as a pro, so it’s awesome. I’m excited to be here. I had fun this morning playing the back nine and I’ve heard it’s a fun event so I’m really looking forward to it.”
Last year’s Portugal Ladies Open champion, Lunn added: “As a sports fan, like all Aussies are, you watch others playing for their country all the time and we just don’t get that opportunity very often. Certainly I’m not going to be around when golf is in the Olympics in six years time so this might be my last chance. I think every time you get the chance you have to make the most of it. We feel that we’ve got as good a chance as anybody going into this week.”
Australia, represented by Lunn and Karrie Webb, was runner-up to Sweden at the event 12 months ago, when the Swedish pair of Anna Nordqvist and Sophie Gustafson won with a birdie on the third play-off hole.
“I’m still not over it yet,” admitted Lunn, who has recently recovered from a back injury. “Play-offs are lotteries. We got into a very good position and they were too good on the day.
“It’s all about having fun. If you play well, you play well. It’s one of those weeks where it’s easy to get caught up in the event and try too hard.”
Hull, who earned her sixth career victory at last year’s Navistar LPGA Classic Presented by Monaco RV, added: “Typically the more fun I have on a golf course the better I play.
“We’re both strategists. We don’t do everything perfectly but what we do well is think well and that gets you into contention these days more than anything else.”
Lunn reflected: “Katherine hits it further than I do but we both hit it fairly far. We are good at recovery shots. We are both feel players, I think, which is good in this format, because you’re not going to play well for 72 holes.
“It’s a tough golf course, especially on the back nine, so you have to be patient and the rough is a lot thicker this year than it has been in previous years. I think our games match up pretty well, we hit the ball similar distances, hit our irons similar distances which makes it easier clubbing.”
The four day tournament features two rounds of better-ball and two rounds of the Valencian Cup format, which is a variation on greensomes. Australia has been paired with Sweden in the first round and will tee off at 10.21am local time.