Queen of the Greens: Two Putting Tips From New Major Champion Lilia Vu
By Brendon Elliott, PGA
Lilia Vu won the 2023 Chevron Championship over Angel Yin after making a birdie in the first playoff hole. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
On an exciting Sunday at The Chevron Championship in The Woodlands, Texas, 24-year-old Lilia Vu was crowned a major champion.
Sinking a roughly 15-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole, Vu defeated Angel Yin for her first career major championship title at The Club at Carlton Woods, taking home $765,000 for the win from a purse of $5.1 million, the largest ever for this event.
Two things were clear in Vu’s final round 4-under par 68: one, she is deadly with the flat stick, and, two, despite many emotions running through her, she was a shining example of perseverance.
Vu has dominated the greens of late on the LPGA, leading the tour in strokes gained putting since the CP Women’s Open. For those that tuned in to an exciting final round at The Chevron Championship, her putting was clearly one of her keys to victory – as it was earlier this year when she won at the Honda LPGA Thailand.
Here are two takeaways from Lilia's putting prowess that I'd like you to try:
Think "stable" before your stroke
From a technical perspective, Vu is a model for staying steady over the ball. There are no unnecessary movements once she is locked in over the putt. When you can stay stable with eyes over the ball, it allows you to rock the shoulders and maintain the triangle you create with your arms hanging down from the shoulders as you grip the club.
Think about the simple beats from a metronome as you stay steady and stroke back and through with your putter. Combined with a solid setup and stable body, that thought will create a great stroke.
Find your spot
Secondly, from more of a visualization standpoint, you must find and lock into “your spot” when you putt. After Vu won in Thailand, I discussed a ten-step solution to making more putts – one of which was finding a good line and locking into it before your putt. To dig a bit deeper, I'd say that becoming singularly focused on “your spot” is absolutely critical.
Many golfers fall in love with the hole as their end goal in putting. While that may be the case in the big picture, locking into the hole itself will not help you make more putts. After carefully studying the line of your putt, you must find your apex point, or “spot,” and putt to that, allowing the ball to cross over it and, hopefully, drop into the hole.
If you combine the technical key of a steady body, with eyes over the ball and get locked into “your spot” from a visualization standpoint, you can start to rule the greens like Lilia Vu did in her first major championship win.