Lilia Vu secured her second major title in emphatic fashion at Walton Heath, overcoming Charley Hull at the AIG Women’s Open
Lilia Vu secured her second major title of the year and her career at the AIG Women’s Open.
Vu seized the final round at Walton Heath Golf Club to win by six shots from Charley Hull with whom she shared the 54-hole lead.
The 25-year-old carded six birdies for a 67 to become the first American to win two women’s majors in the same year since 1999.
Her victory in just her second appearance at the tournament will take her to World No.1 for the first time, becoming the ninth woman from the USA to lift the famous trophy.
“It sounds almost unreal,” Vu said. “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.”
It was Hull’s second major runner-up finish this year after coming tied for second at the US Women’s Open, but she maintained pressure on Vu during the final round.
With birdies on holes 9 and 10, Vu took a commanding five-shot advantage on 12-under-par into the closing stages – a huge turnaround considering she trailed by six shots after 36 holes.
Hull thrilled the home crowd by holing a bunker shot for eagle on hole 11, briefly cutting the deficit to three shots on nine-under-par and increasing hope of a maiden major title.
But a birdie by Vu on the 12th hole kept the Englishwoman at arm’s length again. It wasn’t until the 16th when Hull made her first birdie of the day.
Vu crowned her win with a birdie on the 18th hole to reach 14-under-par, just minutes after protestors with flares attempted to disrupt play on the 17th hole.
Vu entered 2023 winless on the LPGA Tour before bagging the Honda PGA Thailand in February and the Chevron Championship in April.
Down the leaderboard…
Two-time Women’s Open champion Jiyai Shin finished in outright third on 7-under, while Hyo Joo Kim and Amy Yang finished in a tie for fourth place. US Women’s Open champion Allisen Corpuz finished tied for sixth.
Linn Grant and Nelly Korda finished on two-under-par together in tied for 11th, as did Nasa Hataoka, Alison Lee and Akie Iwai.
Charlotte Heath won the Smyth Salver as the low amateur of the week. Heath qualified for the championship as the leading British or Irish player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking in week 26 of 2023.
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