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Charley Hull has viral moments while smoking

LANCASTER, Pa. – Charley Hull was asked for an autograph on her way to the driving range at the U.S. Women's Open Championship on Tuesday. Nothing unusual about it, except that the Englishwoman happened to be smoking a cigarette at the time. Hull had her hands full and kept the cigarette in her mouth as she doodled. Golf.com's Zephyr Melton was on hand to document the moment with his phone, and the moment quickly went viral.

“I find it quite funny because I actually go to the gym and I'm a very healthy person,” Hull told the media after a final 3-under 67 at Lancaster Country Club. “I only smoke. I hardly drink. I don't have to drink because I can actually have a good time without alcohol.”

“Yeah, listen, my dad has smoked 40 cigarettes a day since he was 12 and he's 75 now, and my nephew smokes who's about 25. My whole family smokes, so it's nothing that I've noticed oddly. I hate smoking. When I was younger, I used to yell at my dad for smoking, but I think I smoke a little when I'm stressed.”

In fact, Hull, 28, said she only started smoking because she wanted to quit vaping. Not that vaping is better for her, but she can't smoke a cigarette indoors.

“If it’s a slow round on the golf course,” she said, “I smoke a lot more than I should.

“But listen, I'm going to stop soon. It's just a question of when.”

Hull, a two-time LPGA champion, has always been one of the great personalities in women's tennis. Many fans first got to know her at the 2013 Solheim Cup in Colorado, when she defeated Paula Creamer 5-4 in singles and then asked her for an autograph for a friend at home. Hull was 17 at the time, making her the youngest player in Solheim Cup history.

She finished second to Allisen Corpuz at last year's US Women's Open at Pebble Beach and provided one of the most memorable moments on the course on Sunday the 18th when she hit an aggressive 3-wood line under a tree to reach the iconic green in two shots, putting pressure on Corpuz.

“You know the saying: shy kids don’t get candy?” Hull asked her caddy just before she took a mighty big swing.

Mel Reid, Hull's Solheim Cup partner, told a great story on Golf Channel's Live From show earlier this week about how Hull asked her caddie if he had booked her a massage just before she made a crucial putt late in the match.

Reid said trying to get Hull where she needs to be during Solheim Cup week was like taming a wild animal. Hull, who was unofficially diagnosed with ADHD last season, said that was an accurate description.

“Literally all of my friends are always saying I should have a TV show where I show what's going on in my life,” Hull said. “If you think I have a lot of personality on the golf course, you should see what my life is like at home.”

Hull's agent told her she gained about 70,000 followers this week thanks to the cigarette video that made the rounds. Hull set up her Instagram account on her agent's phone about four weeks ago and sent her photos and videos to post. With her addictive personality, Hulls said she wastes too much time scrolling.

US Women's Open 2024

Charley Hull prepares to tee off on the 10th hole during the first round of the 2024 U.S. Women's Open. (Photo: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports)

“We're only just scratching the surface of her ability to be on a reality TV show,” Reid said, laughing. “She would thrive on Love Island, absolutely thrive, because she could throw as many darts as she wanted, she could swear, she could do whatever she wanted, she could be outrageous. The world is her oyster in that kind of entertainment.”

The crowds in Lancaster are among the best this championship has seen in 20 years and they have been chanting Hull's name all week.

“Someone said I dropped something and then handed me his phone number on a piece of paper,” she said, grinning. “He said, here's my number. Text me so we can set up where I'm taking you to dinner tonight. I never texted him, of course, but it was just so funny.”

When asked if she got more attention while smoking a cigarette than in any other week of her career, Hull laughed while twirling her ponytail.

“I think I did, you know, I really think I did,” she said. “It was pretty crazy. Just one cigarette and it started.”