First off, I am simply amazed that an 11-year old can have the skill set to work through qualifying and make it to a United States Open. Astonishing! Now onto my rant…
Over the last week, I have heard many arguments from people in and out of the golf business ripping this young girl and her parents for “letting” her play in this event. By her, as you know, I mean Lucy Li. She has become a golf sensation overnight and drew some of the largest crowds on the opening round of the U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst. Why do people care so much? Why is it such a hot-button item?
First, This is not something new as we have seen it in the past with the likes of Lexi Thompson and Morgan Pressel. Secondly, Last I checked she earned her way into the event by qualifying. I am not sure why people are so up in arms about it.
I would love to hear the comments of the naysayers on this topic. Tell me the harm of “letting” her play? You cannot argue her age because it is only a number. She obviously has the skills to be on this stage. So let’s check that one off the list. What’s next? Maturity? I’d say if you can focus as she has to get to this level and handle the media pressure and coverage then you’d have to be quite mature. I’m sure I’ll get the ol’ “She just needs to be a kid”. Why can’t she? It’s just one golf event. Plus, she is having fun, right? That’s what kids are supposed to do. Others have done it, went back to school, and ultimately have succeeded in Professional Golf by turning pro in their teens. Lydia Ko has done quite well both before and after she turned pro, and she is barely old enough to drive.
But we are not talking about the future. We are talking about the present and the tremendous opportunity this young lady has. Let’s not take it away because we are being envious that she has developed these skills and can demonstrate them at the highest level when needed.
The “doubters” out there (and there always are) need to be happy for this young lady that she gets to experience this great opportunity. Who knows if it will be the only one. Years down the road, how cool will it be to tell her grand kids that just for once, on a hot week in June, she got to experience one of the ultimate thrill rides in golf; A United States Open at Pinehurst!