Li maintains lead as fog causes long U.S. Girls' Jr delay
Lucy Li (USGA photo)
Lucy Li (USGA photo)

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (July 17, 2018) – Poor visibility made for a short day Tuesday at Poppy Hills Golf Club for the second round of the U.S. Girls’ Junior. When a fog settled over the area, play was delayed for four and a half hours. Some players took the opportunity to practice and some huddled around a fire pit to cook smores and play Jenga. When play was finally able to begin, first-round leader Lucy Li settled in to chase history.

Only she didn’t know it.

Li tied a championship record with her opening bogey-free 9-under 62. She followed it with a 2-under 69 Tuesday that included two bogeys and fell one shot short of the 36-hole scoring record in this championship. Li remained non-plussed, considering that the ultimate prize in this event is awarded to the girl still standing after six rounds of match play.

“Nobody told me anything. Honestly, it doesn’t matter,” she told the USGA. “It’s just stroke play right now.”

Li’s effort is likely good for medalist honors, but she won’t know for sure until Wednesday. Only half of the field was able to complete the second round before play was called for darkness at 8:18 p.m. PDT. Play will continue Wednesday at 7 a.m. as the field is whittled down to 64 players for the match-play bracket.

Behind Li, Yealimi Noh still has 12 holes to play and only four shots to make up on LI. The 16-year-old Noh won the Girls Junior PGA last week after going 24 under for 72 holes. With that form, she seems perfectly capable of leap-frogging Li for the top spot on the match-play bracket.

Should Li hang onto her lead, it would be the second consecutive year she has earned stroke-play medalist honors in this championship. She would be the seventh player in the history of this championship to earn medalist honors in back-to-back championships. Last year, Li fell in the Round of 32.

Brooke Seay, one of four five-time U.S. Girls’ Junior competitors in the field, backed up her first-round 67 with a 1-under 70. She is tied for third. Yujeong Son, a semifinalist in 2017, carded a 3-under 68 and sits eight strokes behind Li in solo fifth.

Defending champion Erica Shepherd has only completed five holes in her second round but is 1 under for the championship. That leaves her in 10th place.

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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