If Lilia Vu (Titleist Pro V1x) wins the weather-delayed 2023 Chevron Championship, it will be a feel-good story for anyone who has ever faltered at their job and considered quitting.
Vu joined the LPGA Tour in 2019 after a stellar three-year career at UCLA, winning eight tournaments, and sitting first in the amateur ranks for 31 weeks. But the success she had in college did not initially translate to the pros, making the cut only once in nine tournaments. She dropped down to the Symetra Tour in hopes of recovering her game and regaining her LPGA Tour card again.
She didn’t do much better in the COVID-shortened 2020 season and told Fore magazine she seriously considered quitting and pursuing a career in law.
But she turned around her game in 2021, winning three Symetra Tour events and regaining her LPGA Tour card. In 2022, she made the cut in 22 of 24 tournaments, and though she didn’t win she managed three top-three finishes, eight top-10s and more than $900,000.
After opening the 2023 LPGA Tour season with a win in the Honda LPGA Thailand, she finished in the top-15 in her next three starts. She turned around everything in 2021 winning three tournaments on the Symetra Tour and earning Play of the Year honors and earning her way back to the LPGA.
She played in 23 tournaments, and while she didn’t win, she made the cut in 20 and had two top-five finishes and seven top-10.
She opened the 2023 season with a win in the Honda LPGA Thailand. In her last two tournaments leading into the Chevron Championship, she posted a tied for 7th and a tie for 11th.
WHOA NELLY: Nelly Korda (Titleist Pro V1x) entered the 2023 Chevron Championship as the co-favorite with Lydia Ko (Titleist Pro V1x) at 11-1.
Following her second round, Korda sits near the top at five-under par after firing a two-under par 70 on Friday.
So anybody betting on Korda must feel really good heading into the weekend.
Korda is looking for her first win in the tournament after tying for second in 2020 with Brooke Henderson (TaylorMade TP5x) in a three-way playoff won by Mirim Lee (Titleist Pro V1x).
Korda came into the tournament having made the cut in the five tournaments in 2023, including fifth in the DIO Implant LA Open three weeks ago. She had tied for 57th in the LPGA Drive On Championship the week before. Overall, she entered the Chevron Championship with three top-five finishes and four top-10.
PATTY IS BACK: Patty Tavatanakit (Titleist Pro V1x), who won the tournament in 2021 when it was known as the ANA Inspiration, finished her second round tied with Korda at six-under par after blistering the course with a five-under par 67. Tavatanakit, the 2021 LPGA Tour Rookie of the Year, tied for third in the 2023 DIO Implant LA Open. She’s also enjoying a turnaround season after making only 12 of 21 cuts in 2022. She tied for fourth in the Chevron Championship last year.
Many players will finish their second round early on Saturday after Friday’s round was delayed two hours because of bad weather.