PINEHURST, N.C. (KCBS) – 11-year-old Lucy Li of Redwood Shores fired an opening round 8-over-par 78 in the first round of the U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurt No. 2 on Thursday.
Starting on the back nine, Li’s opening drive missed the fairway, leading to a double bogey. She would go on to make another double bogey and one bogey on the back nine, shooting a 5-over-par 40. Li opened the front nine with a birdie on the first hole, and added another at the fifth.
After her very respectable round of 78, the 11-year-old, during her post-round interview, answered questions while taking bites out of her ice cream bar. “I’m happy with how I played. I mean. It’s 8-over-par, it’s not that bad,” Li said. “But I was 7-over in three holes, so that’s 1-over in 15 holes. I just need to get rid of the big numbers.”
Donning a patriotic red, white and blue outfit, Li, who just finished sixth grade, impressed playing partners Catherine O’Donnell and Jessica Wallace, who both said after the round that they enjoyed their round with the teenager. O’Donnell said “she was a joy to play with” and Wallace said Li “is so mature for her age.”
Li became the youngest player ever to qualify for the U.S. Women’s Open, when she won the sectional qualifier at Half Moon Bay by seven shots on May 19.
Adding that she “just wants to have fun,” Li said she’s excited for her second round, as she looks to make the cut and qualify for the weekend.