Charley Hull: My Olympic experience was incredible
I am now an Olympian, which is a pretty cool thing to say. I always thought it would be great but the experience was even better than I expected and the course was a lot better than I thought it was going to be. All the players thought it was fantastic.
It felt like a Major as an event on its own and then you are staying in the Olympic village with all these amazing athletes. I didn’t arrive until the Sunday night so I didn’t get the chance to see any other events, I would have loved to have watched some boxing, so I was busy golfing and gym-ing it.
The gym was another really cool aspect of the week. It was my 10th week going in the gym and working out so I felt kind of ready. I wanted to be going into the Olympics looking the part or looking at least like I did work out!
The course was about 20 minutes away from the village so that was about as much as I saw of Rio. I wanted to play well that week so I was just concentrating on my golf and thankfully I had a good week on the course and had a great chance of a medal which would have been amazing.
I birdied my first hole in a Major four years ago and I birdied my opening hole in Rio so that was pretty special. I was a bit nervous, the 1st tee ceremony was pretty different, but I felt like there was a lot less pressure than the Women’s British Open at Woburn. You are still representing Great Britain though.
It was a bit of a strange set-up as Catriona Matthew and I were staying in the same apartment and we played nine holes together, and I’m sure our caddies swapped course notes, but then it is an individual event.
The format got plenty of criticism beforehand but I liked it to be honest and 72-hole medal suits me best. I wouldn’t say I’m very much a team player, I love playing Solheims of course but I’m very much an individual player. think what would have been cooler if they had held the men’s and ladies’ competitions together with the men teeing off and then the ladies. There were only 60 players in each so it would be possible to get everyone around.
Going into the final round I was still hopeful of a gold, sitting five shots back. My mentality was to keep thinking of winning, as if I went out with the mindset of playing for third and came up short and finished fourth, then what’s the point?
In the end I came up two shots short of bronze to tie for seventh so I was disappointed as I put a lot into the week but I was also happy at the same time. All the big players were there and if you have a top 10 in a Major then has to be considered a good week.
Had I won bronze it would have ranked at least on a par with my win on the LET. Not many people, particularly golfers, have a bronze, silver or gold medal so it would have been amazing. I played with the gold medal winner Inbee Park in the third round and she is just so steady.
There was talk that she might not play through injury but she was as good as ever. She hits it straight and holes putts, it’s simple. She’s such a great putter and makes it look very easy on the greens.
Having now played in the Olympics I would 100 per cent want to be part of it again in Tokyo. I think everyone who played in Rio now thinks that and the people who didn’t play in it now want to play in it. Everyone got a real buzz off each other that week and it was quite different to anything else.
Olympics: The best quotes the final round of the Games
5 Things: How Justin Rose became a gold medal winner