Morgan Hoffman, United States
2009 – World number one for three weeks
Hoffman was a good enough junior golfer to attract the attention of Oklahoma State University, one of the strongest golf programs in U.S. college golf. The New Jersey native made an immediate impression in his rookie season. He won three times, tying an Oklahoma State record for most victories by a freshman. Those wins helped him finish the season as a first team All-American. He also won the 2009 Phil Mickelson Award as top freshman.
The Oklahoma State player helped the United States win the 2009 Walker Cup at Merion, where he earned two and a half points out of his three matches. He also played on the U.S. Palmer Cup team.
Hoffman repeated as a first team All-American in 2010. However, he decided to call it quits on college golf after his second season to concentrate on professional golf.
He turned professional in 2011, and used the Korn Ferry Tour as his route to the PGA Tour. Hoffman lost a playoff for the 2012 Chiquita Classic, but it helped him finish 19th on the 2012 Korn Ferry money list to gain his ticket to the PGA Tour.
Third place in the 2014 BMW Championship helped Hoffman finish 26th in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup standings, his highest career placing. He came close to winning on the PGA Tour when he finished joint second in the 2017 Honda Classic.
It was at the end of 2017 that Hoffman was diagnosed with facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy diagnosis. He has played the last two seasons on a major medical extension as a result. He has since formed the non-profit Morgan Hoffmann Foundation to help find a cure for muscular dystrophy and improve the physical and mental wellness of those with neuromuscular diseases.
Lilia Vu, United States
2018 – World number one for 31 weeks
Vu became world number one in March 2018 after winning consecutive college tournaments. The then UCLA player took over the top spot from Leona Maguire with victories in the Bruin Wave Invitational and Arizona Wildcat Invitational. The latter win put her into UCLA golf record books with most wins. It was her eighth victory, one more than England’s Bronte Law.
The California native picked a slew of awards following that 2018 season, such as the PING WGCA Player of the Year, Pac-1 Conference Golfer of the Year and Honda Award finalist.
Vu, who comes from Fountain Valley, California, had a busy summer away from college golf in 2018. She contributed four points to help the United States win the Curtis Cup. She also played on winning U.S. Palmer Cup and Espirito Santo Trophy teams. In fact, she helped the U.S. win the Espirito Santo Trophy for the first time in 20 years.
After turning professional in 2018, Vu finished equal 27th in the LPGA Q-Series to earn conditional status for the 2019 LPGA Tour. It meant she only played in nine events, making just one cut to finish 176th on the money list.
Vu was set to play the Symetra Tour this season to try to earn her LPGA card. The coronavirus has meant just one start, a missed cut in Florida’s Natural Charity Classic in March. Given her amateur pedigree, many expect Vu to make an impact on the LPGA once she earns her card.