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Lucy Li

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Lucy Li
Personal information
Born (2002-10-01) October 1, 2002 (age 16)
Stanford, California
Nationality United States
ResidenceRedwood Shores, California
Best results in LPGA major championships
ANA InspirationT70: 2017
Women's PGA C'shipDNP
U.S. Women's OpenT55: 2018
Women's British OpenDNP
Evian ChampionshipDNP

Lucy Li (born October 1, 2002) is an American amateur golfer. She currently holds records as the youngest qualifier for the U.S. Women's Amateur and the U.S. Women's Open. She is the second-youngest qualifier for the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links, and the youngest ever to advance to match play in that event. Li was an age group winner at the inaugural Masters Drive, Chip, and Putt Championship in Augusta, Georgia. As of 2014, she is a student of Jim McLean.


Born in Stanford, California,[1] Li now lives in Redwood Shores, California.[2] Her father, Warren Li, is a San Francisco Bay Area computer consultant and stockbroker.[1][3] Her mother, Amy Zeng, is a former Hewlett-Packard employee.[1] Warren and Amy were raised in China and moved to the United States from Australia in 1998.[1] Warren has a Ph.D. in computer science, while Amy has a master's degree in the field.[4] Lucy was born in 2002.[1] She lived with her aunt Tao Zeng four months per year to train in Florida near Trump National Doral Miami and McLean's Golf School.[3] Li is homeschooled.[5] She performs some of her schoolwork through independent study in the months she is in Florida.[1]

Li took diving lessons at Stanford University and was platform diving from 10 metres (32.8 ft) at age 4.[6] She was also active in gymnastics and music.[6] Some sources claim that she began practicing at Mariners Point Golf Center at about age 4 or 5, with informal coaching from her mother and aunt.[3] Other sources claim that she began playing golf at age 7 while watching her older brother Luke, a Princeton University student, who was hitting balls at a driving range.[6] Li likes to tell the latter story, but Mariners Point head pro, Joby Ross, confirmed that at about 3 or 4 years old Li was very boisterous about her interest in the sport to the point of throwing tantrums when being asked to leave.[1] At age 7 her parents called Jim McLean, who also coaches or has coached Lexi Thompson, Cristie Kerr,[5] Keegan Bradley and Erik Compton,[1] and arranged a visit to meet him at Doral. Afterwards, the family made summer living arrangements with her aunt.[7] Then, McLean began working with her.[6] Li's practice course is Cinnabar Hills in San Jose.[6]


Li holds record for youngest match-play qualifier in U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links history (10 years, 8 months, 16 days), surpassing Michelle Wie's 2000 record by a mere 7 days.[6][8] Li was the second-youngest qualifier in May 2013 for the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links before becoming the youngest to advance to match play that June.[9] The lone person younger than Li was Allisen Corpuz,[10] who qualified in 2008.[8]

She is also the youngest U.S. Women's Amateur qualifier,[6] surpassing Latanna Stone's 2012 record age of 10 years, 11 months and 2 days by beginning the first day of the tournament at age 10 years, 10 months and 4 days old on August 5, 2013.[9]

In 2014, at the first ever Drive, Chip and Putt Championship on the Sunday preceding the 78th edition Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club, she won the Girls 10–11 age division.[11][12] The event was televised on the Golf Channel and was sponsored by the United States Golf Association, Professional Golfers' Association of America and Augusta National to increase youth participation in the sport.[12][13] Over 10,000 youth from over 110 sites participated in a qualification process that yielded 88 qualifiers from 8 age/gender brackets from each of 11 regions.[14]

On May 19, 2014, she became the youngest (age 11) to qualify for the U.S. Women's Open, surpassing Thompson's record (12 years, 4 months, 18 days) from the 2007 Open.[15] Notably, Li not only qualified, but she won her qualifying event by seven strokes at Old Course at Half Moon Bay Golf Links.[8] Thompson missed the cut in 2007 with a 36-hole 168 total.[16] Li was the second-youngest to compete;[17] nine years prior to the introduction of qualification in 1976,[8] Beverly Klass played in the 1967 Open at age 10 years, 7 months, and 21 days.[8] Although Li's qualification was largely heralded, some were befuddled at the state of the sport when a sixth grader could even qualify for one of the most prestigious events of the year.[16] Li, who had reached a 1.5 handicap by April,[14] had a handicap better than threshold 2.4, making her eligible to participate in qualifications.[8]

Li was 11 years, 8 months, and 19 days on June 19, the opening round of the 2014 U.S. Women's Open, held at Course No. 2 of Pinehurst Resort & Country Club.[8] Edel Golf designed custom clubs that Golf Digest described as "blinged-out" for Li to use in the Open.[18] In the first round on Thursday, Li shot a 78 (+8), which had been the highest score that anyone who made the cut in the 2013 Open had tallied.[19] She followed that up with a second 78 on Friday for 156 (+16)[20] and missed the cut by seven strokes.[21] She then walked the course as a fan that Sunday.[22] She scheduled an appearance in the July U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links in DuPont, Washington next.[23] Li shot 74 and 70 to qualify for match play where she lost to Alice Chen in sudden-death of the first round after posting a stroke play equivalent of a 71.[24] She did not schedule any other USGA events in 2014, deciding instead to play local events and be an 11-year-old.[25] In 2015, she did not qualify for the 2015 U.S. Women's Open.[26]

In August 2016, Li won the Junior PGA Championship.[27][28] The following month, she was on the winning team for the 2016 Junior Ryder Cup.[29]

She earned low amateur honors at the 2017 ANA Inspiration by being the only amateur to make the cut.[30] She was named to the Junior Solheim Cup team for the United States,[31] who won 14.5–9.5.[32] In October she won The PING Invitational, and she won her next event, Rolex Tournament of Champions, in November.[33][34]

On May 14 at the Contra Costa Country Club, Pleasant Hill, California, Li qualified for the 2018 U.S. Women's Open,[35] where she was again the youngest player in the field.[36] She was one of seven amateurs to make the cut,[37] and she finished tied for 55th with a 299 (+11).[38][39] Li was selected to represent the USA in the June 8–10, 2018 Curtis Cup.[40] The United States won by the widest margin in the history of the event (17–3) and Li won her singles match against India Clyburn 5 and 4.[41] At the 2018 U.S. Women's Amateur, Li was co-medalist and earned the number one seed for the match play portion of the event.[42] She lost in the quarter-finlas to eventual champion Kristen Gillman on the 19 hole.[43] She contributed to the 2018 Junior Ryder Cup victory.[44]

At the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics, Li teamed with Akshay Bhatia to win the mixed team silver medal.

Amateur wins[edit]

  • 2016 Junior PGA Championship
  • 2017 The PING Invitational, Rolex Tournament of Champions


U.S. national team appearances[edit]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Kroichick, Ron (June 18, 2014). "Redwood Shores 6th-grader to tee it up at U.S. Women's Open". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
  2. ^ Kroichick, Ron (May 20, 2014). "Redwood Shores' Lucy Li, age 11, makes history by reaching U.S. Women's Open". San Francisco Chronicle.
  3. ^ a b c Mell, Randall (May 22, 2014). "Li, 11, has been turning heads for several years". Golf Channel. Retrieved May 26, 2014.
  4. ^ Bamberger, Michael (June 20, 2014). "At 11, Lucy Li's Success is Joyful and Anything but Elementary". Retrieved June 21, 2014.
  5. ^ a b Crouse, Karen (June 17, 2014). "11 Years Old, in the Open, and Carefree: Lucy Li Turns Back the Clock on U.S. Women's Open Field". The New York Times. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Shefter, David (April 4, 2014). "Li, 11, To Be In National Spotlight Again". United States Golf Association. Archived from the original on May 20, 2014. Retrieved May 20, 2014.
  7. ^ Nichols, Beth Ann (May 20, 2014). "Li, 11, becomes youngest Women's Open qualifier". Golf Week. Retrieved May 31, 2014.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Mickey, Lisa D. (May 20, 2014). "Li Qualifies for U.S. Women's Open, at 11". The New York Times. Retrieved May 21, 2014.
  9. ^ a b Kroichick, Ron (July 12, 2013). "Amateur adventures: Lucy Li (age 10!) qualifies for Women's Amateur and Bryson DeChambeau wins Trans-Miss". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved May 20, 2014.
  10. ^ Mandell, Nina (May 20, 2014). "Meet the 11-year-old who qualified for the U.S. Women's Open". USA Today. Retrieved May 21, 2014.
  11. ^ Murray, Ewan (May 20, 2014). "Lucy Li joins youth club with US Women's Open record, aged 11". The Guardian. Retrieved May 20, 2014.
  12. ^ a b Kroichick, Ron (April 6, 2014). "Redwood City's Lucy Li, 11, wins at Augusta National". San Francisco Chronicle.
  13. ^ Kroichick, Ron (March 26, 2014). "Tiger's ailing back undermines his hopes in favorite event". San Francisco Chronicle.
  14. ^ a b Kroichick, Ron (April 4, 2014). "Lucy Li, 11, prepares to drive, chip and putt at Augusta National". San Francisco Chronicle.
  15. ^ "Lucy Li, 11, qualifies for U.S. Open". ESPN. May 19, 2014. Retrieved May 20, 2014.
  16. ^ a b Wharton, David (May 20, 2014). "Golf world abuzz with 11-year-old Lucy Li's U.S. Women's Open entry". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 21, 2014.
  17. ^ "@usopengolf status update". U.S. Women's Open. May 19, 2014. Retrieved May 22, 2014.
  18. ^ Johnson, E. Michael (June 4, 2014). "Naturally 11-year-old Lucy Li will play some blinged-out clubs at the Women's Open (Video)". Golf Digest. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
  19. ^ "Lucy Li, 11, has 78 at women's Open". ESPN. June 19, 2014. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  20. ^ "Lucy Li scorecard". LPGA Tour. June 20, 2014. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  21. ^ "Lucy Li finishes Open at 16-over par". ESPN. June 20, 2014. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  22. ^ Scott, David (December 27, 2014). "U.S. Women's Open qualifier Lucy Li, 11, enjoys the moment at Pinehurst No. 2". Charlotte Observer. Retrieved October 1, 2015.
  23. ^ DiMeglio, Steve (June 20, 2014). "Lucy Li, 11, shoots 78 and misses U.S. Women's Open cut". USA Today. Retrieved June 21, 2014.
  24. ^ Achenbach, James (July 16, 2014). "Li shines again before exiting Women's Publinx". Golfweek. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  25. ^ Herrington, Ryan (August 4, 2014). "The year's most talked about women's amateur is missing the year's biggest women's amateur event (Don't worry, it's a good thing)". Golf Digest.
  26. ^ Fields, Bill (July 8, 2015). "Still Precocious, Lucy Li Brings Back Memories – And A Smile". ESPN. Retrieved October 1, 2015.
  27. ^ "13-year-old Lucy Li wins Junior PGA Championship". ESPN. Associated Press. August 12, 2016. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
  28. ^ Dever, John (August 12, 2016). "Norman Xiong and Lucy Li reign victorious at the 41st Junior PGA Championship". PGA of America. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
  29. ^ Strege, John (September 29, 2016). "Lucy Li helps U.S. Junior Ryder Cup team win its fifth straight". Golf Digest. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
  30. ^ Nichols, Beth Ann (April 1, 2017). "Despite tough finish, 14-year-old Lucy Li makes cut at ANA Inspiration". Golfweek. Retrieved April 1, 2017.
  31. ^ Casey, Kevin (July 6, 2017). "Lucy Li among 10 selected to U.S. Junior Solheim Cup team". Golfweek. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  32. ^ "Women's Golf's Papp, Team USA claim 2017 Junior Solheim Cup". August 16, 2017. Retrieved August 17, 2017.
  33. ^ "Garrett Barber, Lucy Li Capture AJGA Rolex TOC". November 23, 2017. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  34. ^ Herrington, Ryan (November 26, 2017). "The latest teen prodigy in golf, Lucy Li, remains a prodigy now that she's become comfortably a teen". Golf Digest. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  35. ^ Kroichick, Ron (May 15, 2018). "Lucy Li, now 15, lands spot in U.S. Women's Open". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  36. ^ Levins, Keely (May 31, 2018). "Lucy Li no longer a novelty in her second U.S. Women's Open". Golf World. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  37. ^ Nichols, Beth Ann (June 2, 2018). "Ariya Jutanugarn vaults into contention in Round 2 of U.S. Women's Open". Golf Week. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  38. ^ Herrington, Ryan (June 3, 2018). "How much prize money every golfer earned at the 2018 U.S. Women's Open". Golf Week. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  39. ^ Brandt, David (June 3, 2018). "Jutanugarn wins US Women's Open on fourth playoff hole". Times Herald-Record. Associated Press. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  40. ^ "Eight of USA's Best Set for 2018 Curtis Cup". United States Golf Association. April 17, 2018. Retrieved June 2, 2018.
  41. ^ "Kristen Gillman leads U.S. singles blowout in Curtis Cup". ESPN. Associated Press. June 11, 2018. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  42. ^ "Lucy Li makes history with medal double". San Francisco Chronicle. August 7, 2018.
  43. ^ "Kristen Gillman defeats Lucy Li on 19th hole to advance to semi-finals of US Women's Amateur". MSN. August 10, 2018. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  44. ^ "Yealimi Noh, Lucy Li help U.S. retain Junior Ryder Cup". San Francisco Chronicle. September 25, 2018. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  45. ^ a b "Lucy Li". World Amateur Golf Ranking. Retrieved June 22, 2018.

External links[edit]