Lilia Vu has claimed all three of her LPGA Tour victories this season, two of them majors and his risen to No. 1 in the world.
The 25-year-old Vu, from Fountain Valley and UCLA, pulled away with a five-under-par 67 to beat ninth-ranked Charley Hull of England by six strokes in the AIG Women’s Open, the final LPGA major of the year, at Walton Heath Golf Club in Surrey, England.
“I think I really kept to my one shot at a time routine,” said Vu, whose first major victory came in the Chevron Championship in April. “I don’t really remember one single shot in particular, but just playing my game. I didn’t look too hard at the leaderboard and I wasn’t really sure where I stood for most of the day.
“I kind of knew that I was doing pretty well and I think I glanced at the leaderboard on No. 16 green just to see where I was at but, I was going to play my game the whole time. It feels surreal to have this kind of Sunday and to come out with a win, given the past couple months, I’ve been struggling with my game and just feeling good. I’m really happy.”
Vu, who also won the Honda LPGA Thailand in February and has six pro victories, made four birdies on the first 12 holes and after her only bogey at No. 15 added birdies on the 16th and 17th holes while shooting her second straight 67 to record a 72-hole total of 14-under 274.
Hull, who has won twice on the LPGA Tour and six times as a pro, made an eagle on the 11th hole, but struggled to a 73 and couldn’t keep up with Vu.
“Being the best in the world, that’s just crazy to me, just thinking about the struggle I had this year and just to come out with that, it’s just incredible,” said Vu, who joined Nelly Korda, Stacy Lewis and Christie Kerr as the only Americans to be No. 1 in Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings.
“Honestly I just wanted to win golf tournaments out here on the LPGA. It’s just been a crazy year for me, just doing pretty well at the beginning of the season and just hitting a lull in the middle, just struggling. I thought at the U.S. Open after I played so badly, I didn’t know if I could ever win again.
“I think I came into this week with a good mindset. My team and I talked about just trying to be in contention on the weekend, and that’s all I could do.”
Jiyai Shin of South Korea made two late birdies in a 70 and was seven shots behind in third, while Amy Yang of South Korea had five birdies in another 70 to finish one more down in a tie for fourth with seventh-ranked Hoo Joo Kim of South Korea, who stumbled to a 74.
Eighth-ranked Allisen Corpuz of Hawaii and USC, who claimed her first major title last month in the U.S. Women’s Open, made four birdies on the back nine in a 69 to wind up 10 strokes back in a tie for sixth with Ally Ewing, who stumbled to a 75, and Angel Yin of Arcadia, who struggled to a 76.
Olivia Cowan of Germany had two late birdies to shoot 70 and finished 11 behind in a tie for ninth with Andrea Lee of Hermosa Beach and Stanford, who made three early birdies but no more in a 74.
Second-ranked Nelly Korda made only a single birdie in a 74 to tie for 11th, fourth-ranked Celine Boutier of France, winner of the Evian Championship recently, shot a bogey-free 68 to tie for 16th, and third-ranked Jin Young Ko of South Korea made only one birdie in a 74 to tie for 30th.
Fifth-ranked Rouning Yin of China didn’t make a birdie in an ugly 78 to tie for 61st, while sixth-ranked Lydia Ko of New Zealand and 10th-ranked Brooke Henderson of Canada missed the cut.
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