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Walton Heath 2023

How It Stands


Charley Hull and Lilia Vu share the lead going into the final day

Charley Hull waves to the crowd on day three

Home hope Charley Hull and Lilia Vu share the lead heading into the final day of the 2023 AIG Women’s Open at Walton Heath.

Hull and Vu kept faith in their attacking method despite the increasingly windy conditions and were rewarded for it, each ending on nine-under, enough to secure them spots in Sunday’s final group.

Moving day at Walton Heath lived up to its name with the chasing pack immediately swarming on overnight leader Ally Ewing, who saw her five-shot lead dwindle away and ended two shots adrift after carding a 75.

Four players held a solo lead at some point during Saturday with anyone looking to build an advantage being ruthlessly reeled in. 

Gusts of up to 25mph proved tricky to manage for many, with few scores in the 60s before the leaders came home. 

Hyo Joo Kim moved out of the crowded pack to sit tied third with fellow mover Angel Yin – like Hull, Yin has finished second at a major this year and is eyeing a shot at redemption. 

Ewing cut a frustrated figure but is still in contention for a debut major herself, as is Sweden’s Linn Grant, who shot 68 to move to six-under.

Saturday’s action showed any lead is vulnerable and there is no reason to think that Sunday will not bring more of the same.

Hull rides the wind and the pressure 

Despite having set the pace over the first two days, Ewing enjoyed relative anonymity as huge crowds followed home favourite Hull in the group ahead of her.

The fans roared in Hull’s birdie on the first but were left groaning on the second as she immediately bogeyed, though she stayed in consistent form and picked up birdies at 8 – secured courtesy of a wonderful approach – and 11 for the third consecutive round to build her momentum.

Hull kept up the pressure with a fine par save on the 13th having found the rough and the bogey that followed was the catalyst for her to find top gear once more.

Three birdies in a row sent her flying up the leaderboard and she had time for a final flourish on the 18th, recovering from finding the heather with her tee shot to land only a few feet from the hole with a chip from just off the green, tapping in for par to round off a fine 68. 

Hull has come close to a major before, finishing tied-second behind Allisen Corpuz at Pebble Beach at the US Women’s Open this year, but will now head into the final day with a share of the lead for the first time as she looks to follow in Georgia Hall’s footsteps by becoming an English winner of the AIG Women’s Open. 

The Kettering native is leading an almost single-handed home charge, with Northern Ireland’s Stephanie Meadow her nearest fellow Brit following a two-under 70 which saw her move to one-under for the Championship.

Vu near-perfect on a day of danger

All four of this year’s previous majors have been won by first-time winners but one of them already has eyes on a second. 

That is Vu, who won the Chevron Championship in April, and she surged up the leaderboard with three birdies in a row between the fifth and seventh holes. 

Vu’s mix of powerful drives and precision putting moved her into contention and that was nowhere more evident than on the 7th. 

The 25-year-old Californian’s approach shot bounced just past the flag at the par-four hole before she birdied from 10 feet out. 


Her power-hitting was on show again at the par-four 10th, at which plenty of players cashed in with the tee brought 58 yards forward to create a drivable green.

She narrowly missed an incredible ace and though the subsequent eagle opportunity was spurned, she carded another birdie and ultimately signed for a 67 to sit one shot ahead of Angel Yin, who she beat in a play-off at the Chevron, with that a possibility again tomorrow.

Ewing cuts a frustrated figure 

After completing her second round early on Friday afternoon, Ewing had a long time to wait to get her third round going and had to wait even longer to click into gear. 

Her five-shot lead was trimmed immediately as she bogeyed the first, missing a very makeable putt, while Hull’s opening birdie saw the lead cut to three.

Ewing steadied the ship with three pars before wobbling again as she missed a par putt from six feet at the fifth, going on to find the rough on the sixth and having to pitch out sideways.

Things then went from bad to worse as she found the bunker, but any confidence from a fine escape shot went when her par putt lipped out to see her sit only one shot ahead.

Eventually, Vu caught her fellow American up to see Ewing share the lead for the first time since Thursday evening.

Ewing then breathed a huge sigh of relief on the 10th as she recorded her first birdie of the day, before moving back into the outright lead with another birdie at the very next hole.

But back-to-back bogeys proved costly as Yin simultaneously continued her storm up the leaderboard. 

Angel Yin in her swing followthrough

Angel Yin is seeking major redemption

A quiet first eight holes gave way to an explosion of birdies for Yin, including three in a row from the ninth to the 11th. 

A first dropped shot of the day came at the 14th but there was an immediate recovery with back-to-back birdies as Yin moved into the joint lead with Ewing before sneaking ahead.

Yin finished with two pars to card a 67, the joint-best round of the day, and will go out in the penultimate pairing with Hyo Joo Kim after her round of 68 came alive with three late consecutive birdies.

Korda and Yang mount the early charges

After a bunched leaderboard on Thursday, a more spread-out Friday meant it took a little time for players to break into the top five.

Nelly Korda was the first to do so as she opened up with four birdies in her first eight holes, but she knew she could have had more with her putting never getting going.

The world number one did not let that stop her as she eagled the 11th with a chip to climb to six-under. 

Korda recorded back-to-back bogeys and consecutive three-putts three holes later, as she gave herself a D-grade for putting on day three. 

She and Amy Yang both reached four-under, with Yang carding a 67 which included eight birdies.

The South Korean has had an up-and-down week, shooting a three-under on Thursday before carding a 76 on Friday.

But she found the sweet spot on Moving Day and she is planning on staying there.

She said: “I'm not going to change anything tomorrow.

“I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing and just accept whatever happens out there.”

Heath heating up 

The race for the Smyth Salver has been whittled down to two and Charlotte Heath has taken a positive step towards getting her hands on it. 

It could have been very different for the 22-year-old from Huddersfield as, with eight holes gone, she had carded four bogeys and a double bogey. 

At that point, she was five shots behind the other amateur in the field, Julia Lopez Ramirez, before rallying emphatically.

Momentum from back-to-back birdies at 10 and 11 was dampened by another double bogey but Heath instantly responded with a birdie before delivering an eagle on the 16th.

Lopez Ramirez’s round went in the opposite direction with four bogeys pushing her round to 76 to sit at five-under, two shots behind Heath going into the final day.

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