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After A Charming Open, Everybody Loves Lucy

PINEHURST, NORTH CAROLINA | Here, on the Monday after the U.S. Women’s Open, we know a lot more about 11-year-old Lucy Li than we did a week ago.
She likes ice cream, going to arcades and eating at Dave & Buster’s. Her favorite course is the Olympic Club, her favorite player is Webb Simpson (because he won the U.S. Open at Olympic), her favorite reading material is Sherlock Holmes (and books by Rick Riordan) and her favorite subjects in school are math, science and history.
Oh, and this: She’s not flustered by playing on the biggest stage in women’s golf. Not at all.
That’s really the biggest and most telling takeaway from Li’s landmark week at Pinehurst. She unveiled her smooth swing and polished-beyond-her-years short game – even if she missed the cut after shooting 78-78, for a two-day total of 16-over par – but more than anything she showed the perfect personality for tournament golf.
Big crowds? Cool.
Double bogey? Ho hum.
Pressure? Nah.
Li’s charming, precocious manner helped stifle the legitimate debate about whether an 11-year-old should play in the U.S. Women’s Open (more on that in a moment). She giggled a lot, which always helps, and she seemed genuine as she fielded questions from the media.
The best moment in her surprisingly relaxed, pretournament news conference came when Doug Ferguson of the Associated Press good-naturedly asked if her dad can beat her in golf. Li giggled loudly, flashing her mouthful of braces. She giggled again and giggled some more.
Then, after a perfect dramatic pause, she said, “No.”


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