Lilia Vu added a little more magic to her 2023 LPGA season, clinching the newest Rolex Player of the Year Award.
Her 2023 season was so strong, she did not even have to win the CME Group Tour Championship. Vu only needed to finish eighth or better to claim the season-long title.
The two-time major winner finished fourth at 21-under, earning her the accolade. Vu became the first American since Stacy Lewis in 2014 to win this award.
South Korea’s Amy Yang won the event at 27-under by three strokes ahead of Alison Lee and Nasa Hataoka.
Vu and Celine Boutier were the top two players in the race for Player of the Year honors coming into the LPGA Tour’s season finale.
The newest No. 1 player in the world is coming off a win at the ANNIKA driven by Gainbridge at Pelican, her fourth victory of the season. She also won both of her majors this year at the Chevron Championship and the AIG Women’s Open. The 26-year-old also became a Rolex First-Time winner at the Honda LPGA Thailand.
She became the first American since Julie Inkster in 1999 to win two majors in a single season, which awarded her the Rolex ANNIKA Major Award.
“I think it’s been unreal for that to happen,” Vu said. “I think last year I was telling Cole [my caddie] on the last hole; I remember after the last round, last hole, I broke down in tears. I was really hard on myself. I was hard on myself this year, too, but much nicer. Came in with no expectations and tried to win every tournament that I played in. Just kept my goals small, and I think that helped me achieve Player of the Year.”
Vu was also a U.S. Solheim Cup Team member at Finca Cortesin this past September. Her season isn’t over, as she will pair up with Joel Dahmen in December at the Grant Thornton Invitational in Naples.
Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.