Lucy Li was so impressive at the U.S. Women’s Open that it’s sometimes hard to remember she’s just 11 years old.
But then when she steps into a press conference filled with reporters standing on a box to reach the microphone and licking an ice cream cone between answers, it’s pretty clear.
Lucy Li is a sixth grader from the Bay Area, and easily the biggest draw at the tournament. She wore a red, white, and blue outfit that matched her braces and had fans following her around the course.
Li has become a breakout star at the tournament. The youngest golfer ever to qualify for the Women’s Open, Li has outplayed most of the longtime pros at the event. She had three bad holes that pushed her to an 8-over 78, but other than the few blips was sharp and has good odds to be the youngest player ever to make the cut.
Even Li’s competitors have praised her big game.
“She looks 11. She doesn’t talk 11. And she doesn’t hit the ball like she’s 11,” said Catherine O’Donnell.
Lucy Li is currently 11 shots behind leader Stacy Lewis, who is currently ranked No. 1 in the world.
Li’s round had some low moments mixed in, but the youngster seemed unflappable. She missed only one fairway on the day, and by only a yard, ESPN notes.
But Li took very adult perspective about her event, but said she’s mostly worried about having fun.
“I try not to think about it — I’m just another player,” Li said. “I just want to go out there and have fun and play the best I can, and I don’t care about the outcome. Just, I want to have fun.”
Li also noted that she was happy with how she responded to adversity.
“That’s what I was so happy about in my round,” she said. “Because after I got doubles and triples, I was able to get it back. Like I made a good stretch of holes after the double on the first hole. And after the triple, I birdied No. 5. And I got a lot of pars after that.”
Lucy Li said she’s excited to get out on the course again on Friday, but when asked by reporters what she plans to do in the meantime had a perfect answer: “Eat more ice cream.”