Lucy Li is just 11 years old but she's already a golf phenom after becoming the youngest player ever to qualify for Thursday's U.S. Women's Open at Pinehurst No. 2.
Undeterred by either the crowds or her growing fame, a pigtailed Li shot 78 in her first round -- that's 11 shots behind the No. 1 player in the world, Stacy Lewis, who set the lead.
Sign up for the Nightly Perspective newsletter from Brian Williams and the Nightly News team.
"I'm happy with how I played," Li told reporters as she polished off an ice cream. "I mean, it's 8 over [par]. It's not bad. But I was 7 over in three holes, so that's 1 over in 15 holes. So yeah, I just need to get rid of the big numbers."
NBC News asked golf legend Annika Sorenstam if she had any advice for the sixth grader. Sorenstam, a Hall of Famer who earned more than $22 million during her LPGA career, left competitive golf in 2008 to focus on her golf academy and her foundation, which aims to promote active, healthy lifestyles for children.
Hear what she had to say below.
Li admitted to being "a little" nervous at the beginning of the day, but despite her initial doubles and triples she brought her game back on track.
"That's what I was so happy about in my round," she said.
On Friday, she tees off once more.
"I'm excited for tomorrow," Li said.
David Cannon / Getty Images
Lucy Li of the USA who is only 11years follows her tee shot at the par 3, 15th hole during the first round of the 69th U.S. Women's Open at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, Course No. 2 on June 19, 2014 in Pinehurst, North Carolina.
First published June 19 2014, 2:51 PM