Lilia Vu secures second Major title at AIG Women’s Open

Lilia Vu poses with the AIG Women's Open trophy (Photo by Richard Heathcote/R&A via Getty Images)

American Lilia Vu claimed a second major title of her year at the AIG Women’s Open to deny the hopes of Charley Hull at Walton Heath.

The 25-year-old posted a superb final round of five-under-par 67 for a 14-under-total of 274 to finish six strokes clear of England’s Hull in the warm, but breezy conditions.

Ireland’s Stephanie Meadow had moved into the Top-20 on Saturday but a final round to forget of 79 (+7) dropped her down the leaderboard for an eventual share of 56th place on six-over par.


Leona Maguire meanwhile recovered from a third round 74 to card a one-under round of 71 on Sunday and finish in a tie for 30th place.

Since 2019, The R&A and AIG have focused on elevating women’s golf, and the AIG Women’s Open in particular, with the total prize fund for this year’s Championship US$9 million, a 23% increase on 2022 which means that having won the Chevron Championship in April, Lilia Vu has now achieved another major honour and earned the new record winner’s prize of $1.35 million at the venue south of London.

“It feels surreal to have this kind of Sunday,” said Vu. “Just to come out with a win, given the past couple months when I’ve been struggling with my game I’m really happy. I didn’t look too hard at the leaderboard. I kind of knew that I was doing pretty well and I think I glanced at it on the 16th green just to see where I was.”

On her motivation for the win Vu referenced her grandfather who passed away a few years ago.

“With my grandpa passing away at the beginning of Covid-19, I remember I was on my way to a tournament. I had seen him in the hospital before I left and he told me just to go out there and play my best before my tournament. By the time I came back, he had passed and those were his last words to me. I always think about that every single day. Even when I’m struggling on the course, I know he’s out there with me just letting me know that it’s going on okay.”

As for Hull, she was cheered on by the home fans who numbered over 51,000 for the week but she had to settle for a third runners-up finish in a major after coming tied second at the US Women’s Open in June and the Chevron Championship in 2016.

“Lilia played unbelievably really. And I just don’t feel like I got a break to be fair, starting from the 1st. Then on the 5th I lipped-out all the way around the hole,” said Hull.

“I just didn’t feel anything went my way, even some lies that I had and I was just running out of steam at the end. It’s annoying because it’s my fourth second-place finish of the year.

“It was unbelievable seeing so many young fans. It’s quite cute and really inspiring because when I was younger I used to look up to Laura (Davies) but it’s kind of cool how they are looking up to me now. The signs from them out there, it’s lovely.

“I really feel like next year will be my time just because I’m going to really focus on working on that over this winter. I feel like I want to start tomorrow with my coach.”

Hull’s long par putt at the last saw her finish at eight-under-par, a shot ahead of Korea’s Jiyai Shin, a two-time winner of the Championship. Two other Korean players, Hyo Joo Kim and Amy Yang, tied for fourth on six-under.

Ally Ewing, who led by five shots after 36 holes, shared sixth with fellow Americans Angel Yin and Allisen Corpuz, the US Women’s Open winner.

Having started the day level with Hull at nine-under-par, Vu eased clear as others struggled. The California native, ranked sixth on the Rolex Women’s World Rankings, secured birdies at the 2nd, 9th and 10th.

Hull, 27, dropped shots at the 3rd and 4th but ignited her round and delighted the crowds when she holed from the front bunker at the par-5 11th for an eagle.

That took Hull to within three shots of Vu but the American immediately replied when her brilliant approach at the 12th set up another birdie. With the Championship now a two-way tussle, the pair both bogeyed the 15th and birdied the 16th as Vu stayed four shots clear. Hull’s bogey at the short 17th and then Vu’s wonderful birdie at the last sealed the success.

England’s Charlotte Heath triumphed on home soil as the leading amateur to win the Smyth Salver. The 21-year-old finished on seven-over, five shots ahead of nearest challenger Julia Lopez Ramirez from Spain to follow in the footsteps of last year’s winner Rose Zhang.

View final day scores from the AIG Women’s Open here.

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