BY FRED BARBASH
Lucy Li, 11, will become the youngest golfer ever to participate in the U.S. Women’s Open.
Li, from Redwood Shores, Calif., qualified Monday, shooting rounds of 74 and 68 on the par-72 Old Course at Half Moon Bay in California, according to the Associated Press.
Lexi Thompson (12 years, 4 months, 18 days) previously held the record for youngest to qualify for the event, doing so in 2007.
Setting records is nothing new for Li, a golfing prodigy.
When she was 10, she became the youngest ever to qualify for the the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship in Charleston, S.C. Earlier, and also at 10, she became the youngest ever to qualify for the Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship, making it into the match play portion of the event.
How did she get into golfing? According to the Charleston Post and Courier:
Li’s parents sought out numerous activities for her as she grew up. She took diving lessons at nearby Stanford and dove from the 10-meter platform at age 4 even though she couldn’t swim. She also tried gymnastics and music. Li was 7 when her parents discovered her aptitude for golf. Li’s brother Luke, who will be a freshman at Princeton this fall, was the captain of his high school golf team. While the family was watching him on the practice range, someone asked Lucy to take a swing.
Her parents sought out well-known golf instructor Jim McClean, who agreed to take her on as a student.