Skip to content

AIG Women's Open: Lilia Vu caps meteoric rise with second major victory at Walton Heath

Lilia Vu produced a stunning five-under 67 to win her second major title; from being ranked 1,330th in the world in 2020, the 25-year-old American will become the new world No 1 on Monday; "Being the best in the world, that's just crazy to me... I didn't know if I could ever win again"

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

An emotional Lilia Vu says she'll remember her AIG Open victory for the rest of her life after easing to a six-shot victory at Walton Heath.

Lilia Vu may not have been the winner the sizeable support at Walton Heath craved but she is a more than worthy champion of the AIG Women's Open - and one with quite the story.

As recently as 2020, Vu was ranked outside the top 1,000 in women's golf and was considering giving up the game to study law instead after a torrid first season as a professional.

Vu missed the cut in eight of her first nine events in 2019, making just $3,830 along the way and yet when she was as low as 1,330th in the world at one point, her mum inspired her to stick at it. It was more than worth it. On Monday, she will become the new world No 1.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Highlights of the final round of the AIG Women's Open from Walton Heath.

"My rookie year was really hard for me," Vu told reporters. "I put a lot of pressure on myself to perform really well and I would get down on myself when I didn't.

"I went back down to the [second-tier] Symetra Tour and I couldn't even contend there. I was almost last at every event.

"I wanted to put the clubs away and maybe do something else but my mum always told me I was good enough to compete out here and be the best. She's really my rock and the reason why I'm here."

Lilia Vu: Rolex World Rankings evolution

Last event of 2020 1,330th
First Epson Tour win 530th
Last event of 2021 239th
2022 AIG Women's Open 56th
2023 Honda LPGA Thailand win 12th
2023 Chevron Championship major win 4th
This week 6th
Monday 1st

Vu's rise has been meteoric, with 2023 the year she has truly arrived on the world stage. Her first professional win on the LPGA Tour came in Thailand in February, with her first major - the Chevron Championship - following swiftly after in April.

Also See:

On Sunday, the 25-year-old held off home favourite Charley Hull to add the Women's Open to her haul and become the first player since Jin Young Ko in 2019 to win multiple women's majors in the same calendar year and the first American to do so since Juli Inkster in 1999.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Charley Hull admits she felt 'deflated' after her final round at the AIG Women's Open saw her finish six shots behind winner Lilia Vu.

But that's not to say the ascent for Vu has been all smooth sailing. Since edging out Angel Yin in a playoff at the Chevron, Vu missed the cut in four of her next six stroke-play events - including the Women's PGA Championship and US Women's Open - with a highest finish being a tie for 35th at last week's Scottish Open that at least hinted at a return to form.

"I can't thank my team and my family enough for really believing in me," said Vu. "It was really hard for the past couple of months and, somehow, they really believed in me and helped me get this win here."

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

The story of Lilia Vu's sensational final round five-under 67 which secured a six-shot victory at the AIG Women's Open.

She added: "Being the best in the world, that's just crazy to me, thinking about the struggle I had this year - it's incredible.

"I thought at the US Open after I played so badly, I didn't know if I could ever win again... I thought the Chevron and winning in Thailand was going to be it for me for my career."

Vu puts her issues down to the dealing with a change in expectations as a major champion but she handled the pressure impressively Sunday.

In truth, Vu didn't just hold off Hull's challenge in the final round, a stunning five-under 67 left Hull to remark afterwards, "Lilia just ran away with it".

'Run away with it' is precisely what she did, Vu picking up a shot at the second to swiftly nudge herself ahead before back-to-back birdies around the turn had her five clear.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Charley Hull holes a sensational chip for an eagle on the par-five 11th at the AIG Women's Open.

Hull threatened a late challenge with a chip-in eagle from the bunker on the 11th to cut the gap to three but Vu, never once flustered, simply birdied the next to add to her cushion.

Hull's hopes were all but ended when she missed an eagle attempt from inside 10 feet at the par-five 16th, meaning she could only match Vu's birdie, with the champion rolling in another to finish things in style at the 18th.

"It just comes down to not thinking about winning, playing one shot at a time," Vu said on her success. "This golf course really forces you to do that, it really tests you. That was my only goal."

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Lilia Vu sinks a superb birdie on the 18th at Walton Heath to cap off a brilliant final round.

She added: "This has been the best crowd I have ever played in front of. I will remember this moment for the rest of my life.

"They have been so great; I know they were rooting for Charley, but they clapped for me too which is amazing."

More than just another major success, Vu's efforts at Walton Heath will have seen her win a plethora of new fans - and not just in England.

Nearly lost to the game three years ago, golf has a new world No 1 and a new star.

Around Sky