Lilia Vu won eight times at UCLA and now has broken through as a pro.
The 23-year-old Vu held off her former Bruin teammate, Bethany Wu, by one stroke to capture the Symetra Tour’s Garden City Charity Classic at Buffalo Dunes Golf Course in Garden City, Kan.
“I am really proud of myself,” said Vu, who is from Fountain Valley. “I’m proud of my caddy and I and how we managed the past couple weeks. We’ve had some good tournaments and I’m really happy that we put it away this time.
“When I fell off the LPGA (Tour, two years ago), I lost almost all my confidence and I almost quit golf, but I am glad I didn’t. Thank you, Mom, for making me get back on my feet and just keep trying. I wouldn’t have done this with without her or my Dad or my brother.
“When I was struggling, I was being really technical, and really I am a huge feel player. So, I just had to rewire my brain like that and play my own game.”
Vu, who was a three-time All-American at UCLA and was selected 2018 Pacific 12 Conference Player of the Year, posted a score of 69-70-69—208, 8-under-par, while Wu, from Diamond Bar, finished second at 69-69-71—209, followed by Kyung Kim of USC, who wound up at 67-73-74—214.
“Obviously, I am very happy for Lils (Vu), she is one of my best friends,” said Wu, who won the 2019 Ping ASU Invitational while at UCLA. “We roomed together (at UCLA) and did everything together.
“Even though I finished second, I am very happy where my game is right now. I had to play well because my status isn’t very good right now, so this will help me get back in with the reshuffle. I really simplified my game and after this week, I’m really satisfied with the progress.
“But, honestly, right now it’s just pure joy for Lils.”
Amanda Doherty shot 69-73-73—215 to tie for fourth with Isi Gabsa of Germany, who totaled 73-72-70—215, and Yaeeun Hong of South Korea, who finished at 70-71-74—215.
Hexi Yuan of China was seventh at 71-72-73—216, while Daniela Iacobelli posted a score of 73-71-73—217 to tie for eighth with Gabby Lemieux 71-73-73—217), Julienne Soo of Australia (72-71-74—217), Celine Borge of Norway (68-75-74—217), Marta Sanz Barrio of Spain (70-72-75—217, Laetitia Beck of Israel (71-71-75—217) and Fatima Fernandez Cano of Spain (71-70-76—217).
For complete results, visit https://www.symetratour.com/tournaments/garden-city-charity-classic-at-buffalo-dunes/leaderboard