Already one of the youngest participants in the history of the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links, 10-year-old Lucy Li made further history Tuesday by becoming the youngest player ever to advance to the match-play portion of the event.
With rounds of 77 and 71 at the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club in Norman, Okla., the pre-teen finished 36 holes of stroke play tied for 25th, easily advancing to the match play segment that will determine a winner from the top 64 players. At 10 years, 8 months and 16 days old, she is the second-youngest to ever participate in the event, behind only Allisen Corpuz who teed it up in the 2008 edition of the WAPL at age 10 years, 3 months and 9 days.
Li is just days younger than Michelle Wie was when she made it to match play in her WAPL debut in 2000 at just 10 years, 8 months and 23 days old.
'I'm really excited,' she told The Oklahoman. 'I wasn't really expecting much (at this tournament). I just wanted to play as well as I could.'
Despite weighing in at just 80 pounds and averaging 200-210 yards off the tee, the youngster from Redwood City, Calif. easily made it through 36 holes of stroke play, even breaking par with a 1-under 71 in her second round Tuesday. Her first-round match Wednesday will be against Ember Schuldt of Sterling, Ill. who qualified for match play with rounds of 74 and 75.
Remarkably, Li's stroke-play total could have been even better if not for a rules infraction incurred on Monday. During her opening round, Li reportedly tapped down spike marks on a green before hitting her putt and received a two-shot penalty as a result, turning a 3-over 75 into a 5-over 77.