Lilia Vu started the day at The Chevron Championship four shots behind overnight leaders and fellow Americans Allisen Corpuz and Angel Yin. The skies were gray and winds were picking up with gusts of up to 20mph. Dangerous weather conditions delayed play for 50 minutes at 9 a.m., pushing starting times even further into the afternoon.
Corpuz struggled from the start, with four bogeys and one birdie in her first nine holes. Yin stayed steady, balancing a bogey on the first hole with a birdie on the 4th. Vu, five groups back of the leaders, notched three birdies and rose to 9-under overall before a bogey on 9 set her back. After seven-straight pars, Vu closed with back-to-back birdies to finish with the clubhouse lead at 10-under after a final-round 68.
Vu stayed in scoring in case of a playoff. She watched the coverage as Yin took the solo lead with a birdie at the 13th and bogeyed the 16th before heading to the driving range. Yin picked herself up after another bogey at the 17th and played the 18th aggressively, eventually missing a 30-foot putt for eagle but draining a solid 5-foot birdie opportunity to face Vu in extra holes.
Vu and Yin both found the fairway on the first extra hole but missed the green, with Vu finding the fringe and Yin in the water.
“I hit a good drive,” said Vu. "Honestly, I don't know how it got that far. Maybe I hit something while it landed, but it was significantly further. I think when I actually played 18 during my round, I had a hybrid in, and then all of a sudden I had a 7-iron in on the playoff hole.
“I had just seen Angel hit, and then we were deciding what to hit, either going with the 7 or going extra with the 6-iron just to give it extra room to get over the water. I was just feeling 7-iron and I was going to hit it.
“We hit a good shot, and then I knew the green was really fast, but I wasn't sure with all the rough and into the grain from the fringe, so I left it short. But I knew on that last putt, all I had to do was just do my routine, read the putt how I usually do, and just hit this putt because I've hit that putt a million times and I knew I could make it.”
Vu chose to take a dip, continuing the pond-jump tradition made famous at Mission Hills Country Club.
Lilia takes the leap! 💦
The 2x Tour winner is now a major champion 🏆 pic.twitter.com/cx90BehK50
— LPGA (@LPGA) April 23, 2023
Yin’s runner-up performance ties her career-best finish in a major championship, which she also recorded at the 2019 U.S. Women’s Open.
“Honestly, I held it together, and then 16 and 17 really just was like bad club decision, mind mindset on 16 off the tee, and then obviously in the playoff hole, I just didn't hit a good shot,” said Yin. “It just kind of spoke a lot about today.”
Nelly Korda carded a 71 to notch her fourth top-five finish this season, and third-straight top-three finish in The Chevron Championship after earning a T2 result in 2020 and a tie for third in 2021.
“Every single time I can finish well at a major, put myself into contention, that's what I strive to do,” said Korda, who missed the Championship in 2022 as she recovered from a blood clot.
“A little sad that I didn't really have my best stuff today. My putter kind of let me down this week a little. Even though I made some really good putts, I also missed some putts that I usually don't. Overall I have a lot to work on, but for it to be the first major of the year, I think I played pretty well, and hopefully I can build on it.”
Thailand’s Atthaya Thitikul finished in a tie for fourth at 8-under alongside A Lim Kim and Amy Yang of South Korea as well as Switzerland's Albane Valenzuela and Corpuz.