The Norman Transcript

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June 19, 2013

10-year-old makes Public Links history by qualifying for match play show

(Continued)

NORMAN —

"I wasn't really expecting much coming into this," Li said

. "I just wanted to play as well as I could."

She finished tied for 25th in the stroke play and that was after picking up a two-stroke penalty for fixing a spike mark on the 12th green Monday.

Though it may take some time to realize the historic significance of her accomplishment, a USGA official may have had an idea when he asked her to autograph the ball she holed out with before sending it on to the USGA Museum in Far Hills, N.J.

Li took it in stride.

“I don’t really care that much,” she said.

She plays with a care-free attitude.

The bunker shot on No. 9 was her fourth birdie of the round and her seventh in two days.

Her routine is pretty simple:

Take a couple practice swings and line up the shot. Once her caddie tells her she's lined up at the target, Li lets it rip.

"She's at such a young age that she doesn't have any fear," said Chelsey Franklin, her caddie. "She just picks a target and commits to it, which is a fabulous. Hopefully, it's a quality she's able to maintain throughout her career."

Franklin, who played golf at OU and is taking a break from her job as the OU course’s event and membership coordinator, was one of many volunteer caddies the club lined up for the tournament.

"They were saying names in the pro shop and I jumped on it," Franklin said. "I said, 'Give me the 10-year-old! I want Lucy Li!' I fought hard for her.”

They’ll have at least one more round together.

Li meets Ember Schuldt, who finished at 5 over par in the stroke play, at 9:15 a.m this morning in the sixth match of the day.

Matches will continue through until a champion is crowned Saturday afternoon.

John Shinn

Follow me @john_shinn

jshinn@normantranscript.com

 

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