HALF MOON BAY, Calif. — Golfing prodigies just keep getting younger.
The latest name to wow the sport is 11-year-old Lucy Li, who made her own slice of history on Monday.
She is officially the youngest player to qualify for the U.S. Women’s Open after securing her place at an event in her native California.
Li, from Redwood Shores, shot rounds of 74 and 68 at Half Moon Bay Golf Club to beat the field by seven shots and book her place at Pinehurst next month.
— Ryan Farb (@Farb008) May 20, 2014
She beats the previous mark held by fellow American Lexi Thompson, who qualified for the 2007 installment aged 12.
But Li won’t be the youngest to compete at the tournament — that honor is still held by Beverley Klass, who competed in 1967 aged just 10 without having to qualify.
Li already has a victory at the world famous Augusta National under her belt, having won the inaugural Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at the Masters venue in April.
Now she’ll be heading to Pinehurst as the third major event of the women’s season follows on directly after the men’s tournament at the same venue on June 17 for the first time in its history.
Li was one of those to make it from the United States Golf Association’s first international qualifying events, which took place in America, England, China, Japan and South Korea.
All of the 17 women to qualify will be making their first appearance at the U.S. Open, with another raft of events running right through until the end of May.
At The Buckinghamshire course just outside London, England, 20-year-old Amy Boulden from Wales qualified first just weeks after her first professional win.
“I’m very happy. I played very well today, so I’m very pleased,” said Boulden, who was one of eight players to make the cut.
“I knew there were a lot of good players, but I still felt quite confident.
“I’ve grown up playing with a lot of the girls playing, so I just tried to play my own game and I knew that if you were under par you were probably going to qualify here.
“It’s one of the biggest majors, so I’m looking forward to going to the States and playing against the best players in the world.”