Lucy Li wasn’t originally planning on traveling to the Kroger Queen City Championship presented by P&G, but she hadn’t been thinking she would be competing at the Dana Open presented by Marathon last week either. Li converted a coveted sponsor’s exemption at the CP Women’s Open into a T9 finish, earning herself a spot the next week at Highland Meadows Golf Club, and made the most of the opportunity. After holding both the 36- and 54-hole leads for the first time in her young Tour tenure, Li ultimately finished in a tie for fourth, her second-consecutive top-10 finish, and had to change travel plans yet again to include Cincinnati and the Kroger Queen City Championship presented by P&G as she nabbed one of the last spots in the final field thanks to the T4.
“It was my goal in Canada to top 10 into the next tournament, and so being able to do that, sneaking in the top 10 there and getting a start the next week and leading the tournament definitely surpassed my expectations,” said Li. “It was really nice to kind of be in contention on the LPGA. Just knowing I could be there in that position and compete on the LPGA, it was something I already believed in, but just proving that to myself.”
It’s not Li’s first time in the Queen City. In 2021, Li missed the cut at the Prasco Charity Championship at TPC River’s Bend while competing early in her Epson Tour career. Since then, she’s won twice in 2022 on Epson, and in her last appearance at the end of July at the FireKeepers Hotel Casino Championship, she finished in a tie for 13th. Fast forward to now and Li comes to Kenwood Country Club with quite the momentum. According to KPMG Performance Insights, Li’s strokes gained numbers were spectacular the first three days in Sylvania, as she was +10.45 tee to green, +1.82 off the tee and +1.43 in putting from Thursday to Saturday. Although she faltered a little in her final-round 70, she’s still going full speed ahead in yet another opportunity with nothing to lose and lofty goals in her head for the future.
“My goal after I locked up my card was to try to get as many starts out here as I could, kind of get myself prepared for next year, work on my world ranking. Fingers crossed, kind of like long-term -- like kind of -- sorry, more of an out-of-reach goal is maybe getting into the Solheim Cup next year if I play well enough,” said Li. “Really day-to-day try to do my own thing and not try to think about.”