Vu puts priority on Paris after stellar 2023

26-year-old aims to represent USA at the Games

AFP February 28, 2024


Lilia Vu said Wednesday she was not setting herself many goals this year after storming to world number one in 2023, but qualifying for the Paris Olympics was her first priority.

Vu tees off on Thursday in the HSBC Women's World Championship in Singapore at the top of the rankings having enjoyed a breakout year when she won four LPGA tournaments, including two majors.

The 26-year-old is trying to stay grounded as she chases the chance to represent team USA at the Paris Games.

"Golf is not a game of perfect, and I try to keep telling myself that," Vu told AFP at Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore.

"I keep saying the reason I got to this point was because I try my best to win each tournament I play," said the American, who has Vietnamese heritage.

"I'm still learning to manage (pressure) as it's definitely a new thing for me."

Vu wants to set realistic goals for the 2024 campaign.

"The first would be to make it to the Olympics and then win a couple more times this year," she said.

"I don't want to be too specific and hold myself to super high standards. I just want them to be attainable."

Vu won her maiden tour event at LPGA Thailand last year and finished in a share of seventh place in her title defence last week, five shots behind winner Patty Tavatanakit.

She showed her resilience to bounce back after slumping nine shots off the pace with a first-round 73, featuring a torrid back nine containing five bogeys.

Vu attributes her determination to her family's support and values.

"Everything comes from my family," she said.

"I'm a very big family person. They believe in me more than anybody else and everything I do is for them."

Vu cites her late grandfather, who built a boat to help the family escape from war-torn Vietnam in 1982, as an inspiration.

"My grandpa passed away at the beginning of Covid in 2020," Vu recalled.

"I remembered seeing him at the hospital before I left for a tournament. He was about to get discharged.

"Everything was fine, and he just told me to play my best and never give up.

"He was somebody who didn't talk much. So, every word that he said to me always meant a lot."

Vu is among 15 of the top 20-ranked players in the world who head an elite field for the tournament dubbed "Asia's major".

Former world number one Ko Jin-young of South Korea is aiming for an unprecedented hat-trick of Singapore titles, having won in 2022 and 2023.

The US LPGA Tour completes a three-tournament Asian swing in China next week at the Blue Bay tournament on Hainan Island.


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