To say that Jim Liu of Smithtown is "on his way" is understating it, by many yards. This week, he is headed to Royal Lytham and St. Anne's in England, site of this year's British Open, to play in the Lytham Trophy tournament. And he is not stopping there. He announced that he has committed to Stanford.
He was admitted as part of the Early Athletic Read, and will continue to follow in famous footsteps. As golf followers know, Stanford is where Tiger Woods went to college. Liu has developed his game under John Anselmo, who was Woods' teacher in his amateur career. In 2010, Liu, then 14, broke Woods' record for having been the youngest winner of the U.S. Junior Amateur.
Now Liu is rated first in the nation among golfers in the Class of 2013, and is No. 2 overall in the Golfweek junior rankings.
"I've begun making some swing changes and they are starting to pay off," he said in an email. So far this year, he has been runnerup in four big tournaments: the Terra Cotta Invitational in Naples, Fla.; the Azalea Amateur Invitational in Charleston, S.C.; the New Year's Amateur Invitational in St. Petersburg, Fla. and Junior Puerto Rico Open. Another major event on his schedule: U.S. Open sectional qualifier at Canoe Brook in Summit, N.J., June 4.
Double the eaglesThe 13th hole at Pine Hills in Manorville is one of those enticing risk/reward holes. You can reach the green on the 268-yard par 4 with a good tee shot, but you also can wind up in the trees, brush or bunkers. The hole was never more rewarding for one group than it was recently for Eric Blum of Bayville and Ed Kowalchuk of Huntington. The latter drove the green, 18 feet from the cup. The former left his drive 70 yards short, but pitched in for eagle. "I took a little more time on my right-breaking putt," Kowalchuk said, adding the result: "Two eagles on the same hole for a twosome."
Tickets for charity
Buy a ticket to The Barclays, the PGA Tour playoff tournament to be held at Bethpage Black Aug. 21-26, and help raise money for your favorite cause. The Tickets Fore Charity program has launched, allowing anyone to buy a $150 weekly pass in the name of a participating charity. The charity will receive $112.50 from the sale of that ticket. The list of charities is available at www.buytfc.com . . . Christopher Gabriele of Cold Spring Harbor recently won the International Junior Golf Tour event at Westfields Golf Club in Clifton, Va. . . . Willis Huynh of Syosset won the IJGT tournament at Greate Bay Golf Club in Somers Point, N.J. . . . Satchel Johnson of Brookhaven and Nabila Inak of Forest Hills will represent the Met Section at the Ryder Cup Junior Golf Academy in Port St. Lucie, Fla. in July. The academy is a week of clinics, drills and competition.