WALTON-ON-THE-HILL, England (AP) — American golfer Lilia Vu won the Women's British Open to secure her second major title of 2023. She took all the drama out of the finals with a 5-under 67 -Throw for six- Victory on Sunday.
The 25-year-old Californian, who also won the Chevron Championship in April, became the first player since Jin Young Ko in 2019 to win two majors in the same year and the first American since July Inkster in 1999.
Three of the five women's majors that year were won by an American – Allisen Corpuz won the women's US Open title at Pebble Beach – and that hasn't happened since 2014.
Vu was level on points with Charley Hull at the top at the start of the final round, with eleven players within five shots of them. After 10 holes, Vu led by five holes as all her competitors failed and the American had no trouble at Walton Heath.
Hull holed out of a bunker off the green for Eagle on the par 5 11th, cutting the lead to three shots, but Vu responded with a tap-in birdie on the #12 and was never threatened down the course.
Vu went 18th with a five lead and was already smiling before her long, meandering birdie putt fell into the cup. Soon she was being drenched in champagne by fellow players.
Vu finished the tournament with 14 under 274.
Hull, who was passionately supported at a pitch close to her birthplace, scored 73 points and finished runners-up in the last three Majors for the second time.
The win capped a stunning breakthrough season for Vu, whose three LPGA Tour titles were won in 2023 – two of which were majors. On Monday she will be number 1 in the world for the first time.
Since winning a playoff at the Chevron, she has missed the cut in four of her six stroke play events, with her highest finish being a tie for 35th place. She said her problem is dealing with changing expectations as a major champion, but she handled the pressure impressively on Sunday.
Her only misfortune came at par-five No. 15, where she ran into heather for the only time of the round – the biggest hazard on this south-west London heather course – and then found a bunker on her third shot.
Unable to keep up the pressure, Hull gave way on bogeys at numbers 15 and 17 – the latter after a protester stepped onto the green and opened a canister filled with purple spray. There was no interference with the game as the protester was taken away.
What promised to be an exciting finals, given the state of the rankings at the end of Saturday's match, turned into a procession.
Leader Nelly Korda started five shots ahead of the leaders, bogeyed on the second hole and shot 74 points to finish the game 12 strokes behind.
Linn Grant, the highly rated Swede, retired with a 76, level on points with Korda in 11th place.
Former two-time winner Jiyai Shin shot 70 and was alone in third place, a shot behind Hull.