When I was 11 years old, I was most concerned about my next little league baseball game, riding my bike really fast and how much ice cream I could eat.
It appears that I have at least one thing in common with 11-year-old Lucy Li, who qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst this week.
We both like ice cream.
As she nibbled on a cool treat while being interviewed after the first round of the U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst, reporters asked her what she would do with the rest of her day.
She calmly replied, “Eat more ice cream.”
The temperatures at Pinehurst were in the high 90s and even crept over the 100 degree mark in the afternoon on Thursday so a dip in the pool and lots of ice cream would certainly be on my afternoon agenda.
Don’t let her age fool you; she is a seasoned golf veteran. Li is the youngest woman ever to qualify for the U.S. Women’s Amateur, as well as the U.S. Women’s Open. She is the second youngest to ever qualify for the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship in 2013.
Then, at the age of 10 years 8 months 16 days, she became the youngest to ever to advance to the match play portion of the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship, besting Michelle Wie’s previous record age by seven days.
She comes into the U.S. Women’s Open as the champion in the 10-11 age division at the first ever Drive, Chip and Putt competition that was held at Augusta National prior to the Masters.
Li was 11 years 7 months old, when she qualified for Pinehurst and surpassed the previous record held by Lexi Thompson. Thompson qualified for the 2007 U.S. Women’s Open when she was 12 years 7 months.
On May 19, 2014, she posted scores of 74-68 for a total of 142 to win the USGA sectional held at Half Moon Bay in California by seven shots over her nearest competitor.
Like Michelle Wie and Lexi Thompson before her, Li is a golf prodigy. She has tremendous talent and has received the best instruction available. She resides with her parents in Redwood Shores, California but spends four months every year living with her aunt in Miami, Florida and trains at the Jim McLean Golf School.
Li posted an eight-over-par 78 in the first round of the U.S. Women’s Open on Thursday and finished tied for 111th but still beat 45 others in the 156-woman field.
She followed up with another 78 in the second round on Friday and missed the cut by seven shots.
Like Wie and Thompson before her, Li will use this as one more step in her learning process.
There will be many more U.S. Women’s Opens for Miss Li.
Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained firsthand or from official interview materials provided by the USGA, the PGA Tour, the LPGA Tour or the PGA of America.