Monday, May 25

Women’s golf player Lilia Vu earns LGPA Tour card during break from fall season

Senior Lilia Vu finished in 27th place at the LPGA Qualifying Series with a 5-over 581 over eight rounds this fall. Vu earned her LPGA Tour card and has not decided whether or not to return to UCLA women's golf for the spring season after missing the last three tournaments of fall play. (Courtesy of UCLA Athletics)

Two Bruins took time off from UCLA this fall.

Two Bruins competed in the Ladies Professional Golf Association Qualifying Series to try and earn their LPGA Tour cards. Senior Lilia Vu and sophomore Patty Tavatanakit did not compete with UCLA women’s golf for two months, instead participating in the LPGA Qualifying Series and trying to earn their LPGA Tour cards. Vu finished 27th place with 5-over 581 after eight rounds and earned her LPGA Tour card.

“I was really pleased with how I played,” Vu said. “Even though I didn’t do so well my first four rounds, I changed my mindset and it changed how I played the last four rounds. I just had a meeting with coach Carrie Forsyth and we were discussing my plans going into the tour along with school and graduating.”

Forsyth said she believed in Vu and is excited for her future.

“I knew that she would perform well, and we were excited to see her compete successfully,” Forsyth said. “We now have to discuss where she is academically because she has just a few more classes to complete. The tour starts in February, and right now we’re not at 100 percent regarding her decisions.”

Tavatanakit, on the other hand, finished with a 24-over 600 and did not earn her LPGA Tour card – but said she is excited to return to the Bruins for the spring season.

“It didn’t go the way that I wanted, but it was because I wasn’t in the right mindset to compete,” Tavatanakit said. “I didn’t put my heart and mind into it, so I knew that it was not going to turn out the way that I wanted.”

As Tavatanakit prepares for the spring season, she said she is excited to continue playing for UCLA.

“I still want to be in college and compete with my team because I love traveling with them and knowing that everyone has each other’s back,” Tavatanakit said. “You’re never too old to join the tour, but you really only have four years to play in college and I want to experience that.”

Despite having two Bruins gone during the fall season, Forsyth said the team still functioned well.

“Without Vu and Tavatanakit, the atmosphere was different and we definitely felt that missing presence,” Forsyth said.

“But senior Beth Wu and junior Mariel Galdiano both played really well in tournaments.” Wu tied for 10th with a 1-under 218 in Hawaii at the Nanea Pac-12 Preview on Nov. 5-7. Galdiano won the Golfweek Conference Challenge with an 8-under 205 and placed first at the Stanford Intercollegiate on Oct. 19-21.

The Bruins start their spring season in February at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge in Palos Verdes, California.

Murakami joined the Bruin as a junior transfer in 2018 and contributed until 2019. She spent time on the men's and women's golf beats.

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