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 held her own at the Women’s Open.
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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.”
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 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 and tapped in for her second triple bogey of the tournament.
She came back strong: Li birdied the 14th – her favorite 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.