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The sun was shining brightly, and the air was filled with the sound of cheers and excitement as Lilia Vu stepped onto the 18th green at Carlton Woods. She had just won her first major at the Chevron Championship, after a thrilling playoff against fellow American Angel Yin. But it wasn’t just the victory that had everyone buzzing – it was the daring move she was about to make.

Major breakthrough in Lilia Vu’s golfing journey

For years, the tradition at the Chevron Championship was for the winner to jump into Poppie’s Pond at the previous venue, Mission Hills Country Club. But with the tournament now being held at Carlton Woods, there was uncertainty as to whether the tradition would continue. Would the winner take the plunge into the lake short of the 18th green? Or would they break tradition and opt for a more conventional celebration?

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Lilia Vu, a fearless LPGA star, won her first major at the Chevron Championship after a playoff against fellow American Angel Yin. She continued the tradition of winners jumping into the water, and in this case, she leaped off a small dock into the murky water on a chilly day. This tradition was borrowed from the tournament’s former venue at Mission Hills in the California desert, where winners have been jumping into Poppie’s Pond off the 18th green since 1988.

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When asked about her decision to take the plunge, Vu revealed that she had discussed it with her caddie during the practice round. “I think Cole and I kind of passed by on 18 during the practice round and kind of discussed would you jump, and I was like, yeah, I would jump. If I won here, of course I would jump,” Vu said.

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However, the presence of a snake on the 17th pond had briefly made her hesitant. “Yesterday or the day before we saw a snake on 17 pond, so I was kind of thinking about that today,” she admitted. Nevertheless, Vu’s excitement and adrenaline took over, and she took the leap into the pond to celebrate her victory.

Second LPGA victory and record-breaking purse of Lilia Vu

Vu’s victory at the Chevron Championship was her second on the LPGA Tour, and she took home a purse of $765,000, the largest ever for this event. The 25-year-old Californian came into the event ranked 12th in the world, while Yin was No. 172. Yin’s second shot on the playoff hole hit the water, and Vu’s approach just missed the green.

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Vu then went with the putter from off the green, and despite coming up well short, she converted from about 10 feet for the victory. She birdied her last two holes for a 4-under 68 and a four-day total of 10-under 278 at Carlton Woods, waiting as other contenders faltered. Vu’s victory was a culmination of her journey into the world of golf.

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Lilia Vu played at UCLA but considered quitting the game after a rough start to her pro career. However, she regrouped and won three times on the developmental Epson Tour in 2021 before having a solid 2022 and breaking through in February with a victory at the Honda LPGA Thailand.

What do you think about the tradition of winners jumping into the water at golf tournaments? Do you think it adds to the excitement and celebration of the event, or do you think it’s unnecessary?

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