Vu (back) withdraws before title defense at Chevron

Vu (back) withdraws before title defense at Chevron

Lilia Vu won’t defend her title at the Chevron Championship.

The world No. 2 withdrew Thursday before the start of the first major of the year because of a back injury suffered during her warmup session.

"I have been dealing with a back injury for a while now," Vu said in a statement. "Some days are better than others, and today was unfortunately not a good day. 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."

Vu added that she was returning home to determine her best course of action.

Vu has had a turbulent start to the year, now withdrawing from three tournaments because of various ailments. She has just a single top-10 in seven starts this year.

Last summer, Vu suffered a back injury scare and took nearly a month off to recover. Vu said that she has to manage the issue but that it still pops up from time to time, including earlier this year at the Blue Bay LPGA event in China.

Earlier this week, Vu said she was “95% there” as she prepared to defend her title at the Woodlands.

“It’s been a rough couple months battling with my injury,” she told reporters. “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.”

Vu, 26, is coming off a breakout season in which she won two majors and became the first American since Stacy Lewis in 2014 to win the Rolex Player of the Year award.

Vu was supposed to tee off at 2:10 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Minjee Lee and Nelly Korda, who is looking to capture her fifth consecutive victory.