SYLVANIA – Lucy Li already has her LPGA Tour card. She played Friday as if shes ready for the big leagues even earlier.
Li had five birdies on the back nine. She also kept bogeys away the rest of the time for a 7 under 64 that gave her an early lead in Dana Open.
Ruoning, a Chinese rookie at 19 years old, had a score of 69 and was 2 shots ahead.
Li is most famous for her achievement as the youngest U.S. Womens Open player at the age 11 at Pinehurst No. 2.
The 19-year-old Californian was at 10-under132.
Li stated, It definitely gives my kind of the ability of playing free just knowing I have status next Year and kind of focusing some other goals for myself, playing in more LPGA begins and stuff like this.
Her run of birdies began at the par-4 12th. The only holes she didn’t birdie on Highland Meadow’s back nine were the 13th or the par-5 17th. Lis par saves were also crucial, especially No. 1 after the turn.
I chunked it because I was in the middle of fairway. It was embarrassing and Im glad that I was able save the par, she stated.
Li was exempt from playing in Canada last week at the CP Womens Open. Her tie for ninth got Li into the Dana Open.
It was so quick for me. I played just one practice round. Li stated that she just wanted to play the best possible. I was actually looking forward to going home this weekend, but its nice being out here on the LPGA. I just want to have a good experience.
Yin was among the three players who shared the lead at the end of the first round. Her goal is to play bogey free, and her one-shot bogey in her first round motivated her six birdies over her final 10 holes. Friday was not so lucky. Yin had two bogeys with birdies. But, it was mostly a steady diet mainly of pars.
Yin was awarded her card last fall through the LPGA Q-Series. She is 143rd on the Race to CME Globe. She found herself pushing so hard and working so hard in the early part of the year that she broke her wrist. She played in a few Epson Tour events, even though she was not eligible for the European swing. This may have contributed to her injury.
She spent more time working on her short game. It is paying off. Yin also said that she believes she found the right practice method.
She said, When I hit badly, I want to press harder and more. Thats what caused my injury. Right now, my game is less and Im hitting the ball less. Get back to my old game.
Hye-Jin Choi shared the lead at 18 holes with Wei Ling Hsu from Taiwan (66), and Caroline Masson of Germany 68.
Carlota Ciganda, the other coleader, also played in the afternoon with two-time Dana Open winner Lydia Ko and U.S. Womens Open champ Minjee Lee