Lilia Vu rallies to win in Florida, closes in on LPGA participant of the yr

Lilia Vu seized momentum early with three birdies and closed with a 4-under 66 to win The Annika on Sunday for her fourth victory of the yr, which allowed the American to regain the No. 1 rating and shut in on LPGA participant of the yr.

Vu began the ultimate spherical at Pelican Golf Membership in Belleair, Fla., three pictures behind Emily Kristine Pedersen, opened with three birdies in six holes after which pulled away with crisp method pictures that arrange back-to-back birdies to tug away.

Vu got here into the event a mere three factors behind one other four-time winner, Celine Boutier, within the race for the points-based LPGA participant of the yr. Boutier missed the reduce this weekend. Vu is now 27 factors forward going into the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship.

Boutier’s solely probability is to win subsequent week and have Vu end eighth or worse.

Smiths Falls, Ont., native Brooke Henderson completed tied for nineteenth at 10 beneath after taking pictures 68 within the last spherical. She opened the event with an 8-under 62 for a one-shot lead.

It was a devastating finish for Pedersen, the Dane who went from making an attempt to seize her first LPGA Tour title to seeing her season end abruptly.

It was dangerous sufficient that Pedersen did not make a birdie. She nonetheless was nicely positioned to maneuver from No. 80 into the highest 60 within the Race to CME Globe to advance to the season finale down the Florida coast in Naples. However on her last gap, Pedersen hit into the water and made double bogey. That gave her a 74 and knocked her out of the highest 60.

Madelene Sagstrom missed the reduce and appeared to fall out of the highest 60 when Stephanie Kyriacou of Australia closed with a 67 to tie for fifth. However Pedersen’s double bogey allowed Sagstrom to advance.

Boutier, regardless of lacking the reduce and Vu successful, nonetheless completed atop the standings, not that it issues. All 60 gamers subsequent week solely need to win the CME Group Tour Championship to say the $2 million US prize.

“You could as nicely go shoot the lights out,” Kyriacou stated.

Vu is nearly a lock to win different awards because the LPGA’s high participant. Two of her 4 wins have been at majors, the Chevron Championship and the Ladies’s British Open. The previous UCLA star can be the primary American to win the award since Stacy Lewis in 2014.

She completed at 19-under 261, three pictures away from Alison Lee and Azahara Munoz of Spain, who every closed with a 67.

Munoz got here into the event at No. 100 within the Race to CME Globe, hopeful of entering into the highest 80 to safe her card, regardless that she may lean on an exemption for maternity depart. She almost made all of it the way in which to season finale.

“I’ve by no means been so near shedding my card I suppose,” Munoz stated. “By no means been in that state of affairs. I do not need to be in it once more. Making an attempt to win a event is aggravating, however making an attempt to maintain your card may be very, very aggravating.”

Patty Tavatanakit had some stress, too. She acquired again into rivalry with a 62 on Saturday, however the last spherical was a battle till a late birdie gave her sufficient of a margin that her bogey on the ultimate gap did not knock her out of the highest 60.

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