The evolution of Lilia Vu — Best moments from Chevron — Must-click women’s golf links

The IX: Golf Thursday with Addie Parker, Apr. 27, 2023

Happy Golf Thursday! When athletes have breakout years — Scottie Scheffler in 2022, or Jordan Spieth circa 2015 — the reaction that we fans typically have is, “Where did this person come from? They just popped up!” But when we say these things, it erases decades of practice, long days of preparation, and a whole lot of blood, sweat, and tears. We must constantly remind ourselves that athletes work their entire lives toward one specific goal and they never stop moving the goalpost. That’s why we are fans. We admire those who are brave enough to put their livelihood on the line for the sake of hitting a little nine-ounce ball around a bunch of grass.

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For 31 weeks, Lilia Vu was the No. 1-ranked amateur in the world. She won eight tournaments during her days at UCLA, making her the winningest player in UCLA history. She represented the U.S. in the Curtis Cup and a handful of other events. In 2018, she was named WGCA Player of the Year and after a remarkably successful college career, she earned her tour card during Q-School and became a rookie in 2019.

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But this is a cruel game, and golf wasn’t kind to her during her rookie season. She had missed all but one cut and earned a whopping $3,830. This obviously wasn’t enough for her to maintain her card, so she had to claw her way back through on the Epson Tour.

“I didn’t have any friends. I didn’t know anyone. I put a lot of pressure on myself to perform well. I wasn’t in a good state of mind to be playing competitive golf. But everything happens for a reason, right? I hit rock bottom to learn how to play out here again.

Lilia Vu, article May 2022

Vu won three times on the Epson Tour in 2021, earning her spot back on the LPGA for the 2022 season. Earlier this year in Thailand, she became a Rolex first-time winner, and just a couple of months later she’s a major champion. But if you ask her — she didn’t do it by herself.

“I couldn’t believe that that happened. That we won a major,” Vu said after a tearful final putt, in what was another dramatic playoff finish for the LPGA. For Vu, her team is everything, and she credits it all to her grandfather. Her grandfather would go away for a month at a time — no one knew where he’d go or why. One day in 1982, he grabbed his family and took them to the boat he had been building to get his family out of a war-strung Vietnam. The boat was meant to carry 54 people at most — he took the entire village of over 80 people.

In 2020, at the height of the pandemic, Vu’s grandfather was hospitalized, and shortly after he passed. His last words to her were simple: “Just play your best.” It transformed her golf game. Vu said she was playing every shot like it was life or death. What her family went through in Vietnam was life or death, she is here as a consequence of her family’s brave decision to flee. Once she released herself from her own torment, Vu was able to do exactly what her grandfather had told her to do.

Image from article about Lilia Vu and her return to the LPGA tour.

I think we’re far from seeing her at her best and I think she will continue to dominate throughout the season. She’s a member of the International Crown team (which is next week!) and just maybe leaping toward a spot on the Solheim Cup team for September.

It’s hard to not root for her, between her origin story, how well-liked she is across the tour, and her conversations with the media — Lilia Vu is the current “it-girl” of the LPGA, and she deserves to embrace every moment of it! Vu and other stars are teeing it up in LA this week, head to links for the deets on that.

See you next Thursday, golf fans.

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This week in women’s golf

If you have links you wish to share for Golf Thursday, sources for golf news, or want to talk about anything at all, you can email me at ! Discussion of any kind is always welcome…I mean it…MESSAGE ME!


The LPGA is back in LA…so it begs the question — who should we watch in Hollywood?

The featured groups are below, follow along on Golf Channel:

More from Chevron!

My first story for Golf Digest!!!! How to replicate the best looks from the LPGA’s first major for your own on-course look

Lilia Vu, once on top of the world, nearly quit golf. Now she’s a major champion

Chevron Championship was NBC’s most-watched sports program of the week

How Carlton Woods wowed LPGA players at the Chevron Championship

Behind the leaderboard at Chevron

Lilia Vu is leading in the 2023 Rolex ANNIKA Major Award standings 

Swiss star Albane Valenzuela shined at Chevron with the help of her family

WATCH: Gulbis proud to assist Captain Lewis at Solheim

LET News

The Chevron Championship offers an initial chance to assess the European’s potential on paper, on camera, and on the course

Standout players on the LET so far…

Epson Tour News

Three to watch at Cooper Rock Championship

The Epson Tour has finalized the 120-player field for the Copper Rock Championship


Golfweek: Full field, seeds for 2023 NCAA Division I women’s golf regionals

Golf Channel’s prediction’s for 2023 NCAA women’s golf regional fields

The Road to Grayhawk: Taking a look at the NCAA Women’s Regionals

U.S., International teams finalized for Arnold Palmer Cup at Laurel Valley Golf Club

UCLA women’s coach Carrie Forsyth retiring at season’s end after 24 years leading the Bruins

Before she was a pro…Lilia Vu’s junior and college career

Five at The IX: Top moments from Chevron

The Championship Dinner

The Championship Dinner, a decade-long tradition is the moment of time during a major week, when past and present are in harmony. I’d love to be a fly on the wall in that dining room!

Christina Kim’s shot from the water

20-year vet, Christina Kim has always wowed us with her bold fashion statements, but her all-guts no-glory playing style is just as entertaining. We love CK!

Nelly’s long eagle putt on the 72nd hole

The putter just wasn’t behaving all week for Korda, but she drained this long eagle putt on the final hole on Sunday for a well-earned roar from the crowd.

In Gee’s Ace at 17

I mean — no words necessary!

Vu’s Leap and the caddy belly flop

The champ starts a new jumping tradition; too bad her caddy stole the spotlight with a 10 out of 10 belly flop.

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Written by Addie Parker