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Lucy Li inspires young golfers at Pinehurst No. 2

Posted June 20, 2014

— Although she didn't make the cut at the U.S. Women's Open, 11-year-old Lucy Li generated a lot of buzz at Pinehurst No. 2 this week, and she got the attention of hundreds of young golfers who came to the Sandhills to take in the first two rounds of the women's Open. 

Aside from the novelty of an 11-year-old being in the U.S. Open field, Li's presence serves as inspiration for many young duffers who have their sights set on the highest levels of the sport. 

Josefine Sandell, one of the many junior golfers who came out to see Li and others play, said Li's story can be a blueprint for her and others. 

"I think she is very brave and strong to be an 11-year-old and be in the women's Open," Sandell said. 

Sandell and many other area children are members of First Tee Sandhills, a youth golf organization that teaches kids how to play golf while also focusing on life lessons like honesty, integrity and sportsmanship. 

Will Nguyen, 13, said he's learned about the value of sports in life from First Tee events. 

"Like not cheating or anything and being honest," he said. "Like, if you miss a hole, being respectful to the course so you don't damage it."

Will's sister, 15-year-old Elizabeth, laughed when she said that her brother is much better behaved on the course since joining First Tee. 

Other organizations, including Girls Golf and Triangle Women in Golf, have also been in attendance during the women's Open. 

Sadena Parks, an LPGA professional, said players know the role they play in inspiring younger players. 

"You want to make sure you set the right image for others," she said. "Be respectful to others and have fun doing it, most importantly," she said. 

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  • Jeanne Gunn Jun 20, 2014

    Little Lucy Li is a great role model for young athletes, not just young golfers. What a great kid! She certainly seems to have a bright future ahead of her.

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