Lilia Vu, searching for first LPGA victory, in striking distance at Walmart NW Arkansas Championship heading to final round




  • In Sports/Golf
  • 2022-09-24 23:25:17Z
  • By USA TODAY Sports - Golfweek
 

A year ago, Lilia Vu was playing on the other side of Arkansas.

Then a member of the Epson Tour, she tied for second at the 2021 El Dorado Shootout, which included a final-round 4-under 68 to finish at 3 under for the week.

Vu is back in the Natural State this week, but she's far from the place she was last year. Although the El Dorado Shootout is going on this weekend, Vu is in Rogers at Pinnacle Country Club, where she leads the 2022 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship with 18 holes to play looking for her first victory.

"It was never a matter of my game or skills that were lacking, I just wasn't looking at golf in a healthy or positive way," Vu said of the changes the past year. "Every shot was life or death. I feel like I figured it out last year, like I'm just going to go out there and have fun. I know how good I am."

Vu, 24, considered giving up the game in 2019 after missing all but one cut on the LPGA and earning just over $3,000. Heading into Sunday's final round, she's playing arguably the best golf of her career and is again within striking distance.

She fired consecutive rounds of 6-under 65 and sits at 12-under 130. Yet she and the field are chasing Attaya Thitikul, who had a round to remember on Saturday during the second round of the 54-hole event.

Thitikul recorded eight birdies, one eagle and no bogeys en route to a 10-under round of 61. She sits at 14 under and Yuka Saso by one and Lilia Vu by two. Saso also shot 6-under 65 and is at 13 under for the tournament.

The 10-under round for Thitikul ties the tournament record for lowest 18-hole score.

Vu is in the middle of stretch where she has improved her finish in four straight events. Two weeks ago in Portland, she finished tied for third at the AmazingCre Portland Classic. She was also tied for the lead with 18 holes left that week.

"I had a lot of fun today," Vu said, "And I'm excited for tomorrow, too."

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek

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