11 Years Old, in the Open, and Carefree

Li, the youngest player ever to qualify for the tournament, is a home-schooled sixth-grader who divides her time between Redwood Shores, California, outside San Francisco, and Miami.

updated: June 18, 2014 10:14 IST
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Pinehurst: Hannah Pietila's father was walking the fairways on Monday with his daughter during her first practice round at Pinehurst No. 2. He was supposed to be marking off yardage in anticipation of his caddying duties for the 69th U.S. Women's Open, which will get underway Thursday.

But his mind kept wandering to the preteen girl in the ruffled skirt and pigtails playing alongside his 18-year-old daughter.

For Aaron Pietila, observing 11-year-old Lucy Li unleashed a flood of memories of his daughter when she was Li's age. Nodding in Li's direction, he said: "It's pretty neat to watch her. She hits it almost like she doesn't care where it goes."

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