Lucy Li fires 62 to lead U.S. Girls' Jr stroke play by 4
Lucy Li (USGA photo)
Lucy Li (USGA photo)

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (July 16, 2018) – Lucy Li tied the U.S. Girls’ Junior scoring record on Monday right out of the gate. The 15-year-old put together a flawless card that included nine birdies and not a single bogey at Poppy Hills Golf Club. Her front nine was particularly symmetrical: she followed each par with a birdie.

The 62 matched Li’s personal-best score that she recorded last year at PGA National Resort & Spa’s Champions Course in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., en route to winning the American Junior Golf Association’s Rolex Tournament of Champions.

“I forgot [Poppy Hills] was a par 71, otherwise I would have tried [harder] to birdie the last hole,” Li said. “I just played really well today, making everything, so that felt good.” Li has been a notable figure in USGA championships since she qualified for the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open as an 11-year-old. She played in that championship again earlier this summer, making the cut, and also was part of the victorious U.S. Curtis Cup team last month. She put together a 3-0-1 record. Li was the stroke-play medalist at last year’s U.S. Girls’ Junior.

This championship is relatively in Li’s backyard. Poppy Hills is about 90 miles from her home in Redwood Shores, Calif.

So far, Li is ahead of another California phenom, but there is much golf to play. Yealimi Noh of Concord, Calif., had a 5-under 66 on Monday that included two bogeys.

Noh, 16, is less than a week removed from winning the Girls Junior PGA by four shots. Noh was 24 under for 72 holes and didn’t make a bogey for her first 65 holes. Two weeks before that, she beat fellow Northern Californian Madelyn Gamble in the championship match of the 69th California Junior Girls’ State Championship at nearby Monterey Peninsula Country Club’s Shore Course.

“I am super excited to be out here,” she said. “This is a course that I have played a few times. Just seeing that a national championship is being held here is so cool.”

Brooke Seay of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., is solo third at 4 under. Behind her, three players are tied for fourth at 3 under, including Ivy Shepherd, Gina Kim and Taylor Roberts.

Last year’s champion, Erica Shepherd, is part of a four-way tie for 10th at 1-under 70.

ABOUT THE U.S. Girls' Junior Amateur

The Girls Junior Amateur is one of 14 national championships conducted by the USGA. The event is open to female golfers who have not reached their 19th birthday prior to the close of competition and whose USGA Handicap Index does not exceed 9.4. 36 hole stroke play qualifying from which 64 players advance to match play. Regional qualifying held at sites around the United States.

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