Molly Picklum has joined fellow Aussie Jack Robinson at No.1 on the world rankings after winning her first ever Championship Tour title at Sunset Beach in Hawaii.
The 20-year-old from the NSW Central Coast powered past two-time world champ Tyler Wright in the semis to make the final where she defeated Caroline Marks (USA) to secure the Hurley Pro.
Picklum took charge from the start of the 35-minute final in big surf in Oahu but lost the lead after Marks scored a 7.50 on her first wave to seize the lead.
She was able to claw her way back with a series of small scoring waves to seal the win.
Picklum is now equal world No.1 with Carissa Moore (HAW), putting Aussies on top of both the women’s and men’s rankings after the opening two events of the season.
“It is just a jersey color, but I’m stoked to be on the top because that’s where I want to be, it’s where I feel I believe I can be, and it’s just a jersey color for now because the endgame is Trestles,” Picklum said post-win.
“I’m so stoked to take it out and this event is so challenging. I think it’s just never losing your confidence and really believing in yourself the whole way, no matter what it looks like. The level of women’s surfing is insane. You can be on the Challenger Series one year then win a CT event, so I’m definitely proud of myself for just chipping away even though there are so many setbacks. Moments like these make it all worth it.”
Despite being early in the season, the Hurley Pro Sunset Beach results are critical to the CT rankings, with the Mid-season Cut looming following Stop No. 5 at Margaret River, as well as provisional Olympic qualification for Paris 2024.
Picklum missed the mid-season cut last year, when the women’s field was reduced to 12, and to battle her way back through the challenger series.
In December, she became the first non-Hawaiian women’s winner of the Vans Pipe Masters in Oahu and pocketed $US100,000 ($A150,000) in prize money.
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