Lilia Vu Claims Second Major Title at AIG Women’s Open
Lilia Vu produced a composed display to win the Women's Open at Walton Heath, her second major title of 2023.
Vu, the Chevron Championship winner in April, clinched victory by six shots from England's Charley Hull.
The American, 25, began the final round tied for the lead with Hull and shot a five-under 67 containing six birdies.
Hull's wait for a first major win goes on after finishing in a tie for second at the US Women’s Open last month and this near miss in Surrey.
Image Credit: The R&A
After being presented with the trophy, Vu said: "It sounds almost unreal. I had a pretty tough run-in the past couple of months.
"I didn't feel like myself for the past couple of months so I came into this tournament, I sat down with my team and we wanted to be in contention. That's all we wanted and somehow this happened.”
After struggling to keep pace with Vu on the front nine, Hull holed a magnificent bunker shot for eagle on the 11th to move within three shots of the lead.
But Vu responded with a superb approach shot into the 12th green, setting up a birdie which extended the gap to four and all but ended the chances of a first English winner of the Women's Open since 2018.
The final round promised to be a fascinating spectacle, with home favourite Hull sharing top spot with Vu at nine under and 11 other players within five shots of the two co-leaders.
But, one by one, Vu's fellow competitors faltered and the world number six broke clear.
She had established a three-shot lead by the time she had left the fourth green and was five ahead of the field after consecutive birdies on nine and 10.
The blow of conceding a two-shot swing on the 11th to 27-year-old Hull, by then her only conceivable challenger, was quickly forgotten.
Vu closed out victory with few alarms. Even when a wayward tee shot into the heather on the par-four 15th led to her first bogey of the day, Hull was unable to capitalise and made bogey herself.
"I feel a bit deflated," Hull told Sky Sports. "I don't feel like anything went my way today. I feel like I actually played quite solid, just didn't really hole many putts.
"Truthfully I want to be with my coach at 10 o'clock tomorrow and I want to work on a load of stuff.
"I feel that I have come close twice in the two biggest majors, the US Open and the Women's Open, so I really feel like next year is my time to win one."
South Korea's Jiyai Shin, twice a Women's Open champion, finished third on seven under.
World number one Nelly Korda ended the tournament two under par after a two-over 74, while fellow American Ally Ewing - who had led by five shots at the halfway point at Walton Heath - finished on four under after a disappointing 75.
WHO IS Lilia Vu?
Vu was born in Fountain Valley, California on October 14, 1997. As an amateur she represented the USA at the Curtis Cup in 2018 and won the Palmer Cup the same year. In 2018 Vu played in the US Women’s Open and the ANA Inspiration as an amateur, finishing as the low amateur at the latter. She also topped the world rankings for 31 weeks before turning professional in 2019.
She struggled initially but in 2021 she won three titles on the Sywwmetra Tour to gain her LPGA Tour card. But she is enjoying a wonderful 2023. She won the Hondas in Thailand in February and then beat Angel Yin in a playoff to win the Chevron in April before adding the Women’s Open.
She averages 261 yards from the tee, finds 67.23% of fairways and 70.83% of greens in regulation. She averages 29.27 putts per round, gets up and down from the sand 41.67% of the time and has a stroke average of 70.48.
She is second in the Race to the CME Globe and has earned $2.5m in prize money.
About the AIG Women’s Open
First established in 1976 and now owned by The R&A, the AIG Women’s Open is one of five major championships in women’s golf. Each year 144 players compete for the Championship trophy with the low amateur, who plays 72 holes, awarded the Smyth Salver.
The AIG Women’s Open was played at Walton Heath from 9-13 August 2023. Future venues include St Andrews (2024), Royal Porthcawl (2025) and Royal Lytham & St Annes (2026).
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