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Walton Heath 2023

Lilia Vu


Champion thanks crowds for spurring her to sparkling victory

An emotional Lilia Vu paid tribute to the crowds as she reflected on her 2023 AIG Women’s Open victory.

The 25-year-old American secured her second major of the year with a six-shot victory over England’s Charley Hull.

And it was the crowds she and Hull attracted that helped spur Vu on to a near-faultless triumph at Walton Heath.

“This has been the best crowd I've ever played [in front of] in my life,” she said with tears falling from her eyes.

“I will remember this moment for the rest of my life.

“They've been so great. Even though I know they were rooting for Charley, but they clapped for me too.

“I love playing with Charley, she's so fun to watch. And I remember yesterday just even looking back at her crowd and just really wanting to play with her today.”

Vu started the day in a tie for the lead with Hull, as both sat on nine-under after 54 holes before the Californian pulled away.

A final long-range birdie sealed the title on the 18th, with the humble Vu giving all the credit to her caddie Cole Pensanti for that shot.

Vu also gave thanks to her support system for how they have helped her handle a difficult year.

She described her first LPGA win and her triumph at the Chevron Championship as flukes as she went on to miss the cut at two of the three majors since.

Vu was back to her free-flowing best at Walton Heath, carding only one bogey on Championship Sunday. 

Lilia Vu kisses the AIG Women's Open trophy

The trophy moment

She added: “After the Chevron and just how I felt afterwards and just honestly thinking that those two wins were a fluke.

“And just to be here today, I can't thank my team and my family enough for really believing in me.

“And it was just really hard for the past couple of months and then somehow, they believed in me and helped me get this win here.

“It just comes down to not thinking about winning, just playing one shot at a time.

“This golf course really forces you to do that, it really tests you. So that was my only goal just to drive the ball well, and just give myself chances for birdie.”

Vu shot 19 birdies across the Championship as she was cheered on by crowds full of children. 

And it was to them that she gave some advice that she herself has really lived by.

“It's just going to sound like a broken record, but just keep believing,” she explained.

“Write down your goals, have the best people around you to help you reach that goal and just never give up.” 

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