Lucy Li, 14, qualifies for ANA Inspiration

Lucy Li of Redwood Shores became the youngest player in pro golf history to qualify for a major when she earned a spot in the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst No. 2 when she was 11-years-old.

She’s at it again.

Li, now 14, carded a score of 72-69-72–213. 3-under-par, to win the American Junior Golf Association’s ANA Junior Inspiration by four strokes over three players on the Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage.

That earned Li, who collected 10 birdies in 54 holes, a spot in the ANA Inspiration, the first LPGA Tour major of the season, beginning Thursday at Mission Hills.

“I just want to have fun … and enjoy it and learn,” said Li, who captured the 2016 Junior PGA Championship. “I bet it’s going to be really similar and really different. I’m just really excited.”

At Pinehurst, Li shot 78-78–156 and missed the cut, but still was pretty remarkable for a sixth-grader playing against the best women golfers in the world.

Paphangkorn Tavatanakit of Van Nuys shot 76-73-68–217 at Mission Hills to tie for second with Rachel Heck of Memphis, Tenn., who totaled 73-75-69–217, and Emilia Migliaccio of Cary, N.C., who wound up at 70-75-72–217.

Li became the sixth amateur to qualify for ANA Inspiration field, joining Katelyn Dambaugh, Andrea Lee, Hannah O’Sullivan, Eun-Jeong Seong of South Korea and Paphangkorn Tavatanakit of Thailand.

She also has qualified in recent years for the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship, the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship and captured her age division in the inaugural Drive, Chip and Putt finals at Augusta National Golf Club before the Masters.

 

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