Lucy Li, at age 11, makes US golf his­tory

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSSAMERICA - By EL­IZ­A­BETH WU in New York For China Daily

Lucy Li be­gan play­ing golf as far back as any­one in her fam­ily can re­mem­ber. But it isn’t that far back be­cause she’s only 11. Now she has made golf­ing his­tory, be­com­ing the youngest player ever to qual­ify for the US Women’s Open.

Lucy qual­i­fied on Mon­day by shoot­ing rounds of 74 and 68 on the par-72 Old Course at Half Moon Bay in a sec­tional qual­i­fier in Cal­i­for­nia, beat­ing sec­ond­place qual­i­fier Kathleen Scavo by seven strokes.

“Lucy is very hon­ored to have qual­i­fied for the 2014 US Women’s Open, and to have the op­por­tu­nity to com­pete in this most pres­ti­gious na­tional cham­pi­onship.” said the Li fam­ily in a state­ment is­sued by the US Golf As­so­ci­a­tion on Mon­day. “Her time spent play­ing in last year’s USGA cham­pi­onships, as well as her win at Drive, Chip & Putt, have pro­vided her with many good op­por­tu­ni­ties that she will con­sider as she pre­pares for the US Women’s Open.”

Lucy beats the pre­vi­ous mark held by fel­low Amer­i­can Lexi Thomp­son, who qual­i­fied for the 2007 in­stall­ment aged 12. But she won’t be the youngest to com­pete at the tour­na­ment. That honor is still held by Bev­er­ley Klass, who com­peted in 1967 aged just 10 with­out hav­ing to qual­ify.

Lucy qual­i­fied for the match-play por­tion of the US Women’s Am­a­teur Pub­lic Links Cham­pi­onship last year, but lost in the first round. She has also won at the Au­gusta (Ge­or­gia) Na­tional Golf Club, site of the fa­mous Masters Tour­na­ment, in her age group in the first an­nual Drive, Chip & Putt Cham­pi­onship in April.

Golf runs in the Li fam­ily, which lives in Red­wood Shores, Cal­i­for­nia. Lucy’s fa­ther War­ren plays, as does her brother, Luke, who is 19 and at­tends Prince­ton Univer­sity.

At the age of 4, Lucy’s par­ents took her to Jim McLean’s golf school in Mi­ami, Florida, lo­cated on the Trump Na­tional Dural property, where her aunt Tao took care of her.

She qual­i­fied for the US Women’s Am­a­teur Pub­lic Links golf tour­na­ment at the age of 10. Lucy is not the youngest player to par­tic­i­pate in the US Women’s Open; Beverly Klass was 10 when she com­peted in the event prior to the qual­i­fi­ca­tion process in 1967.

“Lucy de­vel­oped a tremen­dous ded­i­ca­tion, and she has great fo­cus. She is very smart and picks things up eas­ily,” said McLean. “Lucy is very bright, and has a good head on her shoul­ders. She has de­vel­oped her skills at a nice, even, fast, rate, and she has a nice swift curve.”

The US Women’s Open starts on June 19, in Pine­hurst, North Carolina, one week af­ter the men play in the US Open on the same course. Con­tact the writer at read­ers@chi­nadai­


Lucy Li putts on the 10th hole at the US Women’s Pub­lic Links event last June in Ok­la­homa.

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