Lucy Li’s recent LPGA hot streak brings her big goal into focus: 2023 US Solheim Cup team

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Lucy Li only had one practice round at the Dana Open last week and still managed to hold onto the lead on Sunday. Li, 19, has no status on the LPGA, but for the second week in a row, she has turned a top-10 performance into a fresh start.

This time at the inaugural Kroger Queen City Championship, Li will take the plunge on Thursday without having played a single hole at Cincinnati’s Kenwood Country Club. Heavy rain and lightning closed the trail several times early in the week, and Lee wasn’t able to run it without her bats until Tuesday.

“It’s a very nice, beautiful golf course, very classic,” said Li. “We have the trees and the rough and the bunkers. … not many expectations are going in tomorrow.”

Li’s two summer wins on the Epson Tour have wrapped up her LPGA card for 2023. This week marks her fourth consecutive start at the LPGA, dating back to the ISPS Handa World Invitational in Northern Ireland, which she played with a sponsorship waiver. She has completed T-27, T-9 and T-4 in her last three LPGA starts.

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2022 US Women's Open

2022 US Women’s Open

Lucy Li plays her tee shot on the 16th hole during the second round of the 77th US Women’s Open at Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club in Southern Pines, North Carolina. (Photo: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

In addition to her playing on two separate tours, Li is also taking online courses at the University of Pennsylvania. The former child prodigy and now Ivy Leaguer who once counted the late Mickey Wright among her mentors also has a sponsorship invite to next week’s AmazingCre Portland Classic.

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“My goal after I locked my card was to get as many starts here as possible,” said Li, “to prepare myself for next year, work on my world rankings.”

While Li cannot earn CME points as a non-member, she can improve her Rolex Rankings position, which helps her achieve another goal.

“Fingers crossed,” said Li, “kind of like in the long run… more of an unattainable goal might be to get into the Solheim Cup next year, if I play well enough.”

Li, who made headlines around the world by qualifying for the 2014 US Women’s Open at age 11, cannot earn Solheim Cup points until she participates in the tour, but the points will be doubled from 2023. She can also play on her. way to the team through the Rolex Rankings.

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In March, Li was ranked 291st in the world, but jumped to 125th after its share from last week’s fourth week.

At the Dana Open 2023 Solheim Cup captain Stacy Lewis said: Golf week that she believes “there will be some opportunities for younger players to get into the mix.” Lewis then rattled four potential rookies: Andrea Lee, Allisen Corpuz, Lilia Vu and Li.

“I’d say those four are probably four to look at, I think,” Lewis said.

The top seven players on the points list will be chosen next fall to represent the US in Spain. Vu is currently seventh in points, while Lee is 11th and Corpuz is 14th.

Li, who turns 20 on October 1, competed with the US Curtis Cup team in 2018. She earned 3 ½ points in the American defeat.

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek