Eleven-year-old Lucy Li set to make history at US Women’s Open
Youngest ever qualifier among the starters at Pinehurst
Lucy Li of the United States watches a shot during a practice round prior to the start of the 69th US Women’s Open at Pinehurst. Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty
Four days after Martin Kaymer’s record-breaking exploits, history will again be made for more than one reason today when the US Women’s Open gets under way at Pinehurst.
Not only is the event being held the week after the men’s US Open on the same course for the first time, but 11-year-old Lucy Li will compete against the world’s best after becoming the youngest player to come through qualifying.
Li shot rounds of 74 and 68 to win a sectional qualifying event by seven shots last month and will tee off at 7:07am local time alongside fellow American Catherine O’Donnell and Canadian Jessica Wallace, relative veterans at 24 and 23 respectively.
Li already has some experience of a major championship venue after winning the girls aged 10-11 division in the inaugural Drive, Chip and Putt contest at Augusta that preceded the Masters this year.
“I just want to go out there and have fun and play the best I can,” she told her press conference at Pinehurst.
Li’s appearance in a major championship at such a tender age has inevitably divided opinion. World number one Stacy Lewis speaking out against it.
Lewis said. “If it was my kid, I wouldn’t let her play in the US Open qualifier at 11, but that’s just me.”