Lilia Vu Claims Maiden LPGA Tour Title

The American carded a final round of 64 to win by one shot in the Honda LPGA Thailand

Lilia Vu with the trophy after winning the 2023 Honda LPGA Thailand
Lilia Vu has won her first LPGA Tour title in the 2023 Honda LPGA Thailand
(Image credit: Getty Images)

There was an embarrassment of riches in the field for the Honda LPGA Thailand, but despite containing nine the world’s top 10, it was World No.33 Lilia Vu who emerged victorious to claim her first LPGA Tour victory.

The American started the final round six back from overnight leader Natthakritta Vongtaveelap at Siam Country Club. However, while pulling that back seemed a daunting prospect for the 25-year-old, she set about the task from the outset, birdieing two of the first three holes. That was a mere precursor to a hugely impressive 64 that would eventually give her the trophy, though.

After pars through holes four to seven, Vu made five consecutive birdies - which included a stunning putt from the edge of the green on the eighth - to carry her firmly into contention. Meanwhile, after starting the day with a four-shot lead, local hero Vongtaveelap was having an altogether more frustrating experience in pursuit of their own maiden LPGA Tour title.

It started brightly enough for the 20-year-old with a birdie at the first thanks to am excellent long putt, but inconsistency would be her downfall. She followed that up with a bogey before things got even worse at the fourth with a double bogey as her lead began to slip. The eight holes that followed featured five birdies, but that progress was tempered by three more bogeys, meaning that by the end of the 12th, she had fallen behind Vu.

Another birdie on the 14th dragged her level with Vu, but, despite steadying herself with four pars to close out her round, it was not enough with Vu’s birdie on the 15th, thanks to a beautifully measured long putt, proving decisive as she won by one shot. Vu showed admirable calm in that final few holes, too, including a clutch putt for par on 17th to retain her lead before finishing matters with a tap-in for the win.

Vu had tied for third three times in eight starts since September, most recently on the LET in last week’s Aramco Saudi Ladies International, and was naturally delighted to finally get a win. She said: “Feels really good to get it done. I feel like I put a lot of pressure on myself at the end of last year, and during the off-season I kind of just changed my mindset. Like I always knew I was going to win, I just got let it happen.

"The more you hold onto something I feel like it gets further away. I came close a lot towards the end of the last season, so I was just going to have fun and play my game and it would eventually work itself out. “

Former World No.1 Atthaya Thitikul finished third, two shots behind the winner, with Celine Boutier and Maja Stark tied for fourth. Current World No.1 Lydia Ko finished in a tie for sixth with Jin Young Ko and Nelly Korda.

Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.