Michelle Liu, a 12-year-old who bakes cookies in her spare time to raise money for needy children in China, will tee it up at the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open this week.
Liu, a rising eighth-grader from Vancouver, earned a spot in the field after earning low-Canadian honors three weeks ago at the Canadian Women’s Amateur. She’s the youngest player to ever compete in the championship and will play alongside Austin Ernst and Jennifer Kupcho in the first round at Magna Golf Club in Ontario. Lydia Ko, of course, won this championship at age 15 while still an amateur.
“I feel like I’m getting pretty famous,” said Liu of the number of autographs she’s been signing this week.
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But the awe-factor definitely extends both ways, with Liu taking a picture with Canadian star Brooke Henderson on the range.
“It’s definitely inspiring for me to see one Canadian be so good,” she said of last year’s celebrated champ.
Christina Kim played a practice round with Liu earlier in the week and came away impressed. Liu said Kim taught her how to look for the prevailing wind in the clouds.
Liu took up the game six and a half years ago at a summer camp and became connected with a full-time coach through a friend. She played on her school’s club volleyball and basketball teams last year and counts art among her hobbies.
Liu said her friends are “pretty surprised” to see her on a stage this big so early. Last year Liu’s form room teacher told her that she looked forward to watching her compete in the Olympics someday.
Sounded good to Liu.
“I hope for a lot,” she said of her goals this week, “and I expect a little bit less.”