Inicio Women's British Open AIG Women's British Open 2023 Invulnerable Vu: conquers the British and the world scepter
The American dazzles in the final round and embraces her second Major this year

Invulnerable Vu: conquers the British and the world scepter

Lilia Vu
Lilia Vu posa con la copa de campeona del British 2023. © Oisin Keniry / R&A

Invulnerable. The flight of Lilia Vu (-14). The American of Vietnamese roots will not forget this 2023, a heavenly year for her, who just fifteen months ago was hovering beyond the 100th place in the world ranking and tomorrow will climb to the top of the Rolex Ranking (she will be the fourth Yank to boast of such achievement since 2006: Stacy Lewis, Cristie Kerr and Nelly Korda) after a Sunday stroll through Walton Heath, where she embraced her second Major of the season after conquering the Chevron. In addition, she is the first American to win two Grand Slams in the same year since Juli Inkster in 1999.

The premonition of Carlota Ciganda came true. Whoever reaches double digits, will win. The omen came true this Sunday at the AIG Women’s Open, where nobody dared to challenge Vu, who had everything against her in the stellar duel with Charley Hull (-8), supported by the unconditional English fans who wanted to experience in situ the first victory in a Grand Slam of one of their own. But the Californian took care of dynamiting the local spirits with a divine game, error-free from tee to green, with the irons, with the putt… Perfection.

The evolution and consistency of Vu are noteworthy, a strength forged by overcoming very hard times: “I always have my grandfather in mind. Thanks to him we came to United States because he built a boat for my family to leave Vietnam“, she remembered emotionally this year after winning in February at the Honda LPGA in Thailand. Two months later came the Chevron. Today the British and the World Number One… Overwhelming.

Without fanfare, she started hitting on the 2nd and never lost command of the tournament. Hull, perhaps overwhelmed by the pressure of having an entire country on her shoulders in pursuit of her first victory in Grand Slams, stumbled on the 3rd and 4th. In less than a rooster crows, the Californian was leading with a three-stroke margin. That gave her extra motivation to keep her cool. Straight drives, good approaches and accuracy on the greens: the exact formula to win. Neither H. J. Kim (-6) nor Angel Yin (-5), who started the day close to a stroke from the co-leaders, instilled fear. And Vu continued her flight to glory without too many obstacles. Moreover, she was extending the distance with her opponents after the birdies on the 9th, 10th and 12th.

Hull lifted the demotivated English fans with an impossible eagle from the bunker on the 11th, her first surge of the round to place herself with -9, three from Vu. Would it be the turning point, the moment of the comeback? No. The Yank closed all doors and windows tightly to prevent any hint of surprise. In fact, with a great iron shot on the 12th she left the birdie given and moved four away from Charley, who had some key moments later that she failed to take advantage of. Vu only missed the 15th tee and made a bogey; it would have been a good place to shave another stroke, although Hull, who will sneak into the world top 10 for the first time in her life, made a very bad approach shot, left a birdie putt of more than 20 meters and ended up pinching. On the 16th, her spectacular iron put an eagle opportunity on a tray for a last attempt to reach Vu. She missed. At least she made a great putt for par on the 18th that earned her second place alone. The leader, to keep the party going, plugged in another one a little closer for a tremendous victory with -14.

The veteran Jiyai Shin (-7) tried the ultimate: to achieve her third crown in the British (2008 and 2012), but she didn’t make it, although she fought and, third, she was close to sharing and even snatching the silver from Hull. Her South Korean compatriots H. J. Kim and Amy Yang, another with years in professional golf, finished fourth with -6. Ally Ewing (-4) will not forget this weekend, when she squandered a five-stroke lead at the halfway point of the tournament to finish sixth with her compatriots Allisen Corpuz, who signed another great Major, and Angel Yin. The top ten was completed by Andrea Lee (-3) and Olivia Cowan (-2). A bogey on the 18th took Nelly Korda (-2) out of the top ten. Also noteworthy is Celine Boutier (-1), who despite fatigue after winning the Evian and the Scottish Open rallied to finish under par in sixteenth place. The Spanish Julia López (+12), condemned by a quintuple bogey on the 14th, finished in 72nd position.

Final results of the AIG Women’s Open 2023