The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

11-year-old Lucy Li misses the cut at Women's Open - but makes big impression at Pinehurst

  • Print

PINEHURST, N.C. - Lucy Li's friends back in California have been filling her inbox with emails.

That's the only way they can reach her at the U.S. Women's Open.

The 11-year-old is too young for a cellphone.

"They're like, 'Oh, you're famous now,'" she said, laughing.

Li made quite an impression at Pinehurst No. 2 — even if she didn't make it to the weekend. The youngest qualifier in the history of the tournament mostly held her own at the Women's Open.

For the second straight day, a couple of rough holes proved to be her undoing.

Hurt by a double bogey and a triple bogey, Li shot her second straight 8-over 78.

According to her caddie, this week was never about her score.

"She was here for the experience and the opportunity to play with the best players in the world," caddie Bryan Bush said. "She proved that she can."

Li was 22 strokes behind leader Michelle Wie and 19 behind Lexi Thompson, who both know about playing the Women's Open at a young age.

Wie's first was in 2003 when she was 13. In 2007, Thompson became the youngest to qualify at age 12 — until Li supplanted her.

"I hope she's having a blast out there," Wie said.

All eyes were on the pre-teen from the Bay Area who showed a beyond-her-years knack for bouncing back from mistakes and rough holes.

She bounced back from her roughest hole — the par-4 13th — with one of her best.

Li's tee shot on 13 landed in some thick weeds, and she missed the ball when she tried to punch it out. After a brief chat with USGA President Tom O'Toole, she took a drop and her shot from that rough ricocheted off the green and near the seating area.

After she chipped to about 15 feet, she pushed that putt wide right and tapped in for her second triple bogey of the tournament.

She came back strong: Li birdied the 14th — her favourite moment of the tournament — and closed her round with pars on three of her final four holes to match her opening-round score.

"I'm really happy with how I bounced back from the big numbers," Li said.

Marlene Bauer's place in tournament history as the youngest player to make the cut remained safe: She was 13 in 1947 in the second Women's Open before going on to become one of the founders of the LPGA Tour.

___

THE CUT LINE: A couple of the LPGA Tour's most recognizable names didn't make it to the weekend.

Cristie Kerr, who won the Women's Open the last time it was held in the North Carolina sandhills in 2007, was at 10-over — missing the cut by one stroke.

Cheyenne Woods — Tiger's niece — had six bogeys during her 75 and was at 13-over. And Morgan Pressel was at 12-over following her 75.

Two other players who began the day in danger of missing it used strong rounds to earn tee times on Saturday and Sunday.

Defending champion Inbee Park, who shot an opening-round 76, had three birdies on the back nine of her 71 that moved her to 7-over.

"It's never too far back in the U.S. Open, I think," Park said. "Anything is possible on this golf course."

Lydia Ko joined her at 7-over after two late birdies during her 71.

___

AMATEUR HOUR: Minjee Lee was a fan at last year's Women's Open, spending the week hanging around with her hero — fellow Australian Karrie Webb — at Sebonack in New York.

"It's like the best experience ever," Lee said. "So yeah, it was good last year."

This one's even better.

Playing the Women's Open for the first time, the amateur moved to 1 over after her second-round 71 that pushed her into a tie for third behind Michelle Wie and Lexi Thompson.

Now, after spending most of her life looking up to Webb, now it's Webb who's looking up at her — on the leaderboard.

"It is my first and I'm in contention," Lee said. "So I can't ask for anything more, really."

Said Webb: "Another Aussie flying the flag. So that's good. She's a great little player."

___

OFFLINE: Na Yeon Choi doesn't Google herself anymore.

Not after the 2012 Women's Open winner read all those news stories about her back home in South Korea while she pushed to become the world's top-ranked player.

"I read all the Internet news in Korea and sometimes that gave me a lot of pressure," Choi said, adding that now, "I try not to search my name on the Internet."

After climbing to No. 2 in the world rankings last year, she said she "tried so hard to be No. 1, that gave me a lot of pressure.

"Last year, when I go to a tournament, I only think about winning," she added. "I can't control the winning, but I think that all the pressure affected my game in a negative."

Choi came to Pinehurst at No. 15 in the current rankings and was 1 over through two rounds.

___

EARLY EXITS: Two players withdrew Friday.

Jane Park withdrew midway through the second round with a back injury. She shot a 75 in the first round and had five bogeys and a double bogey in nine holes in the second round.

That came a few hours after the USGA said Lizette Salas withdrew due to food poisoning. Salas had eight bogeys in an opening 78.

___

Follow Joedy McCreary on Twitter at http://twitter.com/joedyap

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Glenn January won't blame offensive line for first loss

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • MIKE.DEAL@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 110621 - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 -  Doug Chorney, president Keystone Agricultural Producers flight over South Western Manitoba to check on the condition of farming fields. MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
my2011poy
  • A group of Horese pose for the camera in the early evening light at Southcreek Stables in Stl Norbert Wednessday. Sept  14, 2011 (RUTH BONNEVILLE) / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

How surpised are you by the Bombers’ 4-1 start to the season?

View Results

Ads by Google