Lucy Li takes share of fourth at LPGA’s Dana Open, plays her way into next event in Cincinnati thanks to rule change

·2 min read

Lucy Li didn’t win in Ohio, but she did play her way into another event LPGA event three and a half hours south in Cincinnati.

Li, 19, held the lead at an LPGA event for the first time over the weekend at the Dana Open and played in the last group at Highland Meadows Golf Club. A closing 70 dropped her into a share of fourth, three strokes back of winner Gaby Lopez.

“It was exciting,” said Li. “I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I would be, which was good.”

The former prodigy made headlines in 2014 at Pinehurst No. 2 when she became the youngest to ever qualify for a U.S. Women’s Open at age 11. A two-time winner on the Epson Tour this season, Li leads the developmental circuit in scoring, money and is second in greens in regulation. She has already shored up LPGA status for the 2023 season.

The LPGA recently changed a rule to now allow non-members who finish in the top 10 in designated events to tee it up the next week. The PGA Tour has a similar rule.

Previously, the LPGA only held two spots for top-10 finishers who were members.

Li competed in last week’s CP Women’s Open in Canada on a sponsor exemption, and her top-10 performance there got her into the field at the Dana Open. She played only one practice round at Highland Meadows before getting right into the mix.

She’ll next head to Cincy for the inaugural Kroger Queen City Championship. After that, she’s in the field in Portland on a sponsor exemption.

“There is lots of lessons to be learned,” said Li, “but today I hit it good and I just couldn’t get a lot of the putts to fall honestly.

“Like, I mean, I hit it close, but my putts, they were breaking a lot. So that’s just how it goes sometimes.”

List

Top 20 money winners in LPGA history

2022 Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational
2022 Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek