Lilia Vu, the Vietnamese rookie and US star

"If someone had told me two years ago that I would be here, I wouldn't have believed it. It feels surreal to be in this position"

by Andrea Gussoni
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Lilia Vu, the Vietnamese rookie and US star
© Getty Images Sport - Angel Martinez / Stringer

The story of Lilia Vu bears similarities to that of Brooks Koepka in men's golf. Just like him, she found her way in the European Tour to kickstart her career and later became a force to be reckoned with in 'majors' Despite being a college star at UCLA, her professional debut in 2019 did not shine as bright as her amateur days, and she had to work her way up from the Symetra Tour, the second circuit in the US after the LPGA.

Lilia Vu, schedule

But now, at 25 years old, Vu is hailed as the American star, even though Nelly Korda's name carries tremendous weight on the Team USA. This year, she has achieved a remarkable feat with two victories in the coveted majors: the Chevron Championship and the AIG Women's Open.

Lilia became the first American to achieve a double win in majors since Juli Inkster in 1999. This accomplishment even propelled her to the world number one position, which the Chinese golfer Yin Ruoning recently claimed.

Since joining the LPGA in 2022, Vu dedicated her notable triumphs to her grandfather, Dinh Du, who escaped war-torn Vietnam with his family aboard a boat he built himself.

The vessel was designed to accommodate 54 people but set sail with 82. It was eventually rescued by the US Navy. Lilia likes to talk about her family's sacrifice and their refusal to give up. "The reason I'm here is because of my grandfather," the golfer tearfully said after winning the Chevron Championship.

In a press conference today, Lilia expressed her true feelings.

"If someone had told me two years ago that I would be here, I wouldn't have believed it. It feels surreal to be in this position," she affirmed. The current world number two even mentioned that the surroundings of Finca Cortesín remind her of "San Diego" and expressed how much fun she is having, as she has been brought here "to play a tournament with some of my best friends."

Lilia Vu
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