The first player has mathematically clinched their 2023 LPGA Tour card through the Epson Tour top-10. Lucy Li, who has had a stellar 2022, secured her spot in the “big league” two months before the season ends.
“It’s great,” said Li. “Just to officially hear it is really exciting. I’m super excited for next year and to be able to play on the LPGA.”
Li, who has been around the game for most of her life, has always dreamt of playing on the LPGA Tour and now her dreams are coming true. By clinching her spot in the Epson Tour’s top-10, Li will have full-time status for the 2023 LPGA Tour season.
After securing her second professional win, and second of the Epson Tour season, at the Twin Bridges Championship in July, Li decided to push herself out of her comfort zone and try to earn entry to LPGA events through qualifier or sponsor invites for the rest of the season. The California native was invited to compete in the ISPS Handa World Invitational presented by Aviv Clinics earlier this month and heads to Ottawa, Canada to compete in this week’s CP Women’s Open.
“It’s definitely been a big goal of mine for a long time,” said Li. “To finally be able to be out there and compete with the best in the world is very exciting.”
Li credits the LPGA’s qualifying tour, which she’s been playing on since 2020, for helping ease her into the professional golf world. The opportunities the tour provided Li, and provides the other women competing, helped shape her into the LPGA professional she’s about to become.
“There’s a pretty big transition from amateur into professional golf,” said Li. “Being on the Epson Tour was that pathway for me to make that transition. I think it’s huge for people turning pro.”
Li’s journey on the “Road to the LPGA” hasn’t always been easy. She talks openly about the difficult times, when her mental health and confidence wasn’t at the highest point. Although the 2021 season wasn’t her most “successful” year on the leaderboards, Li says she learned how to pull herself back into the game.
“Last year, I had a pretty tough year,” said Li. “I felt like I should have been playing better and had a few tough stretches. At the end of the year, I was feeling really down on myself and lost some confidence. I focused more on why I love the game versus the results, and that was huge.”
Moving forward, Li is setting big professional and personal goals. Naturally, the California native wants to win everything, as much as she can. However, what she can do off the course to inspire and lead the next generation of golfers is much more important to her.
“Obviously I have a lot of golf related goals,” said Li. “But for me the number one thing is to be a good person. I want to be a good role model. In women’s golf, supporting each other and lifting each other up is huge. No matter how ‘big’ you are, that is something that is really important to me.”