Lilia Vu Claims Third World No. 1 Title with Victory at The ANNIKA driven by Gainbridge
Lilia Vu of the United States has once again secured the top spot in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings, marking her third time at world No. 1 this season. Vu’s impressive performance at The ANNIKA driven by Gainbridge at Pelican Golf Club in Belleair, Florida, saw her card a final-round 66 to overtake Ruoning Yin and claim her second major title of the year.
Vu’s victory not only solidified her position as the highest-ranked player in the world but also made her the first American since Juli Inkster in 1999 to win two major championships in a single season. The young American golfer has been in exceptional form, earning a total of four trophies this year.
With her recent win, Vu’s career earnings have surpassed $3.2 million, joining the ranks of Allisen Corpuz as the only players to exceed $3 million in earnings this season. Additionally, Vu now leads the Rolex Player of the Year race by 27 points and is within striking distance of Celine Boutier in the Race to the CME Globe, trailing by just under 96 points.
Stephanie Kyriacou Makes Significant Leap in Rankings
Another standout performer at The ANNIKA driven by Gainbridge was Stephanie Kyriacou, who climbed an impressive 16 spots in the Rolex Rankings to reach No. 78 in the world. Kyriacou’s tie for fifth at Pelican Golf Club marked her third top-10 finish of the season, with her best result being a tie for fourth earlier this year at the Dana Open.
While her rise in the Rolex Rankings is commendable, Kyriacou’s jump in the Race to the CME Globe standings is even more noteworthy. The Australian golfer advanced from No. 71 to No. 56, securing a spot in the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship. In her sophomore season on the LPGA Tour, Kyriacou has made 16 cuts in 20 starts, including two top-10 finishes and her recent top-five performance in Florida.
Although Kyriacou is relatively new to the LPGA Tour, her consistent success this season suggests she may be on the verge of a breakthrough. With five career top-10 finishes and nearly $1 million in career earnings, the Australian golfer is poised to make her mark in the coming years.
Alison Lee Continues to Ascend in Rolex Rankings
Alison Lee narrowly missed out on her first LPGA Tour victory at Belleair, Florida, finishing in a tie for second with Azahara Munoz, just three shots behind Lilia Vu. Despite falling short of the title, Lee’s strong performance propelled her up eight spots in the Rolex Rankings to No. 27, marking her highest career ranking since May of 2016.
Lee, who has been competing on the LPGA Tour since 2015, boasts an impressive record of 20 top-10 finishes in her nine-year career. In recent weeks leading up to the CME Group Tour Championship, the UCLA alum has displayed consistent form, finishing as the runner-up at the BMW Ladies Championship and securing her first Ladies European Tour victory at the Aramco Team Series presented by PIF – Riyadh in October.
Expressing her confidence and enjoyment of the game, Lee stated, “I feel really good. I am hitting the ball really great. Hitting a lot of good irons, making some really good putts. I feel like that’s obviously the key. I do feel really confident. I do. I feel really comfortable over the ball. It’s kind of cliché to say, but I’m having fun. I’m playing more confidently, playing more aggressively, not playing from a nervous standpoint or worried position, I guess.”
Lee’s strong performances have also propelled her up the Race to the CME Globe standings, moving from 36th to 26th. With $966,998 earned this season, she is just a hair’s breadth away from surpassing the $1 million mark in season earnings for the first time in her career.
As the LPGA Tour season progresses, golf fans eagerly anticipate the continued success and exciting battles among these talented players.