There’s something about U.S. Women’s Open in the North Carolina sandhills that attracts all the kids.
Morgan Pressel qualified when she was 12 and had just turned 13 when the Women’s Open was down the street at Pine Needles in 2001 (Li wasn’t even born then). Lexi Thompson qualified and played at 12 when it returned to Pine Needles in 2007. Li joins the ranks of young qualifiers and adds to several recent accomplishment for this young and upcoming golfer. Last year, Li played in the U.S. Women’s Amateur at 10. She was the youngest to qualify for match play at the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links and won the Girls (age 10-11) Drive, Chip and Putt Championship. The idea to try to qualify for the Women’s Open was “mine.”
“Because I wanted to go out there and get the experience,” she said. “Because it’s 36 holes and I didn’t care if I qualified or not. I didn’t think about it. I just wanted to go for the experience....I just want to go out there and have fun and play the best I can, and I really don’t care about the outcome,” Li said. “I want to have fun and learn. I want to learn a lot from these great players.”
Lucy Li and her follow US Women's Open competitors will take the field at Pinehurst No. 2 on Thursday, June 19th at 6:45am ET with Li's group teeing of at 7:07am ET and the tournament will be broadcast on ESPN2 at 3pm ET on Thursday and Friday, NBC at 3pm ET on Saturday and Sunday.
Pertinent Video Links:
Wednesday's Lucy Li press conference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YCd-XmQleg
Early first round footage of Lucy Li and young fan reaction: http://www.usopen.com/women/en_US/video/vod.html
Morgan Pressel reaction to the news of an 11 year old qualifying: http://www.golfchannel.com/media/11-year-old-li-qualifies-us-womens-open/
The early years: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vyhELM8Nr0
USGA Photo Image Requests:
US Women's Open Media Guide: http://www.usga.org/uploadedFiles/players%20guide.pdf
US Women's Open, Lucy Li, Pinehurst, amateur, golf, LPGA, 11 year old golfer