The best part about the U.S. Open is the early round stories from unknowns you wouldn't otherwise follow. Much like NCAA's March Madness, the first couple of days are reserved for the no-names making a charge at this title, even if winning isn't legitimately in the plan. The "open" format of this championship allows just about anyone a chance to get in, and this year, the star of qualifying was 11-year-old Lucy Li.
Li won her sectional qualifying in California to land a spot in the U.S. Women's Open, and has been a superstar this week at Pinehurst. She opened with an 8-over 78 on Thursday, very respectable considering she is 11 YEARS OLD and playing in a major championship on a golf course that saw just three men break par a week ago at the men's U.S. Open (for perspective, she's currently tied with Natalie Gulbis and Jessica Korda).
How did Li celebrate her solid round? By speaking to the media while standing on a box so she could reach the microphone with a popsicle in hand. Seriously.
Lucy Li, 11, after her first-round 78 in the U.S. Women's Open. pic.twitter.com/3iT0YY4bih— Bill Fields (@BillFields1) June 19, 2014
Asked after her round what her plan was for the rest of the day, Li answered exactly how an 11-year-old should answer: "eat some more ice cream."
Li has made it a point all week to emphasis the "fun" she wants to have at this U.S. Open, a word you don't normally hear from players about to tee it up at the toughest tournament in golf.
But that's why Li has been such a joy to watch. She's playing this whole thing exactly like someone 11 years old should play it. She isn't taking it too seriously, she's enjoying the spotlight if only for a few days, and she's playing some impressive golf in the middle of it all.
Keep it up, Li. You've reminded one 30-year-old man that golf is actually supposed to be fun, and hopefully I'm not the only one.
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