LPGA: Lilia Vu surprisingly withdraws from title defense at Chevron Championship

World No. 2 golfer Lilia Vu will not defend her title at the Chevron Championship.

Ahead of her tee time on Thursday, the LPGA superstar withdrew due to a back flare-up during warmups.

She explained her decision to pull out of the tournament on Instagram.

“I have been dealing with a back injury for a while now. Some days are better than others, and today was, unfortunately, not a good day,” she wrote. “During my normal warmup routine, I had severe discomfort in my back and I felt that I could not compete up to my standards and made the decision to withdraw from the tournament ahead of my tee time.”

This season has not gone well for Vu.

She has one top-10 finish, a T7 at the Honda LPGA Thailand. After that event, Vu withdrew from back-to-back events. At the Fir Hills Seri Pak Championship, she finished T37, and in her last start, the Ford Championship, she finished tied for 21st.

This back injury is not new. She had a scare last year and took a month off to heal. Vu explained she manages the injury, but there are still times when it flares up. It caused problems at the Blue Bay LPGA event in China earlier this year.

Ahead of the Chevron Championship, Vu felt “95% there.”

“It’s been a rough couple months battling with my injury,” she said. “It’s been a little scary. I’ve definitely cried a lot on the range sometimes because my back just couldn’t hold up. If I can stay healthy this week, I think I’ll be able to do what I need to do.”

The 26-year-old burst onto the scene last year, winning two majors. Vu also won the Rolex Player of the Year award, making her the first American to earn the honor since Stacy Lewis in 2014.

This withdrawal marks the third time she has pulled out of an event, as the former UCLA Bruin fights to get healthy.

Vu was supposed to play alongside Minjee Lee and Nelly Korda on Thursday, at 2:10 p.m. ET.

Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. For more golf coverage, be sure to follow us @_PlayingThrough on all major social platforms. You can also follow her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports.

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