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Lucy Li, 11, could play in Women's Amateur on LI

Lucy Li, front left, poses with winners of

Lucy Li, front left, poses with winners of the Drive, Chip and Putt contest at Augusta National in Augusta, Georgia on April 6, 2014. Credit: AP / Rainier Ehrhardt

Golf's newest, and certainly youngest, celebrity could be part of the U.S. Women's Amateur on Long Island in August. Eleven-year-old Lucy Li of Redwood Shores, Calif., who qualified for the U.S. Women's Open this week, is eligible for the event to be held at Nassau Country Club in Glen Cove.

Li first made national news by qualifying for the Women's Amateur and reaching the match play phase last year. In a statement released by the U.S. Golf Association, her family said, "Her time spent playing last year's USGA Championships, as well as her win at the Drive, Chip & Putt, have provided her with many good opportunities that she will consider as she prepares for the U.S. Women's Open."

She became the youngest to qualify for the Women's Open Tuesday by winning her sectional event outside San Francisco. Li has not yet entered the Women's Amateur but has until June 25 to do so. If she makes the cut at the Women's Open in Pinehurst, N.C. June 19-22, she will be exempt from the qualifying process.

Double eagle soars

Most every golfer has yelled at the ball, "Get in the hole!" Bay Shore High School golf coach Chris Cascio did it on Monday, playing with his former Fifth Avenue School boss (and principal) Frank Fallon at Cherry Creek Golf Links in Riverhead. It helped that Cascio had hit a 330-yard drive on the 495-yard par-5 eighth hole. He hit a perfect pitching wedge and sure enough, as soon as he shouted, the ball disappeared into the cup for a double-eagle 2.

Chip shots

Despite a decline in the number of golfers and the problems experienced by private clubs after the 2008 financial collapse, the picture on Long Island is not bleak. Daniel Condon, founding partner of the accounting firm Condon, O'Meara, McGinty & Donnelly LLP, told club presidents at the Long Island Golf Association meeting Monday: "I think the worst is over. We do know a number of clubs have gone out of business, but the majority of the bleeding of memberships has stopped" . . . The Seawane Club in Hewlett Harbor was presented the LIGA's Distinguished Service Award, and received kudos from guest speaker Bradley Klein, an architecture expert, for having removed 400 intrusive small pines it had bought from the World's Fair site in 1965.

The brutal winter allowed Rock Hill Golf & Country Club in Manorville, a public course, to complete a major project indoors. Director of golf Mike Jacobs built a 3-D Motion Capture studio in the pro shop, with a simulator that allows his students to virtually play Royal Troon, Carnoustie, Oakmont and other courses . . . Brett Williams, a former golfer at Ohio State who now plays in the Baltimore area, won the Walter J. Travis Invitational at Garden City Golf Club, defeating John Sawin of San Francisco on an extra hole in the final Sunday.

Fact of the week

The average cost to maintain one hole for a year is $85,276, according to the survey of 30 Long Island clubs done by the Condon, O'Meara, McGinty & Donnelly accounting firm.

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