Vu Beats Yin in Playoff to Capture First Major Title in Chevron Championship

Lilia Vu claimed her second championship this season and second on the LPGA Tour, and this one was a major.

Vu, from Fountain Valley and UCLA, birdied the first playoff hole to defeat Angel Yin of Arcadia, who hit her approach shot on that hole into the water, and Vu captured the Chevron Championship at the Club at Carlton Woods in The Woodlands, Texas.

The Chevron took the place this season of the first LPGA major of the year, the tournament that was played for years on the Dinah Shore Tournament Course in at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, where the tradition was for the winner to jump into the lake next to the final green.

“Of course, I am going to do it,” Vu said. “After that? Yes, of course.”

So, Vu and her team plunged into the lake, despite the water looking much murkier than the famed Poppie’s Pond at Mission Hills.

Vu, who claimed her first LPGA Tour victory at the Honda LPGA Thailand in February, birdied the last two holes to cap a four-under-par 68, and caught Yin, who closed with a 72 and totaled 10-under-par 278.

“I can’t even put it into words how I was feeling,” Vu said of her winning stroke from about 15 feet on the playoff hole. “I was nervous, I was scared, I was cold. I just wanted to hit the putt. I just wanted to be done with it. I saw my line and speed, I knew it was going to be a fast putt and I trusted myself.

“I also knew on that last putt, all I had to do was just do my routine, read the putt how I usually do, and just hit this putt, because I’ve hit that putt a million times. And I knew I could make it. And I did.”

The 25-year-old Vu considered quitting the game after a slow start to her pro career, but then she regrouped and won three times on the Semetra Tour, now the Epson Tour, two years ago before breaking through on the PGA Tour this season.

Yin, 26, whose best result on the LPGA was second in the 2019 U.S. Women’s Open, claimed her only pro victory in the 2017 Omega Dubai Ladies Classic on the Ladies European Tour, also has been through some difficult times after turning pro in high school, sustaining a severe shoulder injury two years ago.

“I’ve just come a long way,” said Yin, who had to dial back her powerful swing because of the injury two years ago. “I’m just really happy with who I am, where I am, and what I’m doing right now. Just a lot to appreciate. I’m feeling much better now.

“Obviously on the playoff hole, I just didn’t hit a very good shot and it cost me the tournament. It just kind of spoke a lot about today.”

Second-ranked Nelly Korda eagled the 17th hole in a 71 and finished one -stroke behind in solo third, while fifth-ranked Atthaya Thitikul of Thailand closed with a 71, including a double-bogey 7 on the last hole to miss the playoff and wound up two shots behind in a tie for fourth.

Also in the tie for fourth were A Lim Kim of South Korea, who had a 72, Amy Yang of South Korea who finished at 73, Albane Valenzuela of Switzerland and Stanford, who shot 73, and Allisen Corpuz of USC, who came in at 74.

Third-ranked Jim Young Ko of South Korea made three late birdies in a 68 and wound up three strokes behind in a tie for ninth with Megan Khang, who was near the lead much of the way but close with a 74.

Ninth-ranked Hyo-Jyo Jim of South Korea tied for 11th after a 74, 10th-ranked Georgia Hall of England eagled the eighth hole in a 68 and tied for 12th, eight-ranked Celine Boutier of France tied for 14th following a 72, seventh-ranked Brooke Henderson struggled to a 74 and tied for 24th and fourth-ranked Minjee Lee of Australia tied for 41st after a 69. 

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