On Friday, World No. 2 Lilia Vu shot 21 spots up the leaderboard at The ANNIKA Driven by Gainbridge event in Belleair, Fla.
She fired off a 4-under 66 following her 67 from Thursday to sit at 7-under after 36 holes.
The two-time major winner made seven birdies in her round and is playing with extreme confidence.
Vu is no stranger to contending in tournaments as she won two of the five majors this year. She captured the Chevron Championship in April, and her most recent victory came at the AIG Open Championship. That win gave her one of those feelings she will never forget.
“The last hole at the Open. I think that round was so fun. The crowds were great playing,” Vu said. “With Charley [Hull] was great. Then her sinking that long putt on 18 and me somehow sinking that putt, too, was just crazy. It felt like a movie.”
She thrives on challenging courses. This week, the ladies are tackling Pelican Golf Club, which can be tricky. It’s her first time playing in this event, but it allowed her to simplify things when she’s on a track like this.
“I think it narrows it down for me playing one shot at a time, not getting ahead of myself,” she said. “… When it’s difficult, I’m like, okay, this is a difficult hole. Where do I want to drive it? Where do I want to leave myself? I think that makes it easier for me.”
She came into this week with no expectations, but now that the event is halfway over, Vu has her eyes on the prize.
“I think to win here. That’s something I really want to do. This is my first time here. I enjoy this course. I’m really liking it so far. I think it’s difficult. It tests all aspects of the game.”
With her in contention, Vu’s competitive drive is ready to take down anyone standing in her way this weekend. However, the scores are low, so she must continue to drop putts and avoid playing like a movie star.
Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.