Meet the 12-year-old Canadian golfing phenom competing on the LPGA Tour this week
CTVNews.ca Staff, with a report from CTV News' British Columbia Bureau Cheif Melanie Nagy
Published Wednesday, August 21, 2019 10:22PM EDT
At this time of year, many Canadian preteens are thinking about going back to school.
But for 12-year-old golfer Michelle Liu of Vancouver, she’s focused on this week’s CP Women’s Open at Magna Golf Club in Aurora, Ont., where she will be the youngest golfer to compete in the event’s 47-year history.
“I am getting to play with so many great players and it’s definitely a great experience to be here,” Liu told TSN on Wednesday.
The CP Women’s Open is the only Canadian stop on the LPGA Tour. Liu got into the field after finishing as the top Canadian in the Canadian Women’s Amateur late July, where she finished in a tie for 12th.
She will be one of 15 Canadians vying for the national title this week.
“It takes some time getting used to, but definitely makes me think, this is what it feels like to be a professional golfer,” she said.
Liu has been playing golf for just six years and has already won two world championships in her age group. In 10 events this season, she has finished no worse than 14th.
“She dedicates a large amount of time to golf on a weekly basis,” said her coach Rob Houlding. “She played a lot of competitive golf, so her golf IQ is very high for her age.”
Liu will be just 12-years, nine-months and six-days old when she tees off on Thursday afternoon, smashing the previous record held by defending champion Brooke Henderson, who first played in the event at age 14 back in 2012.
Henderson told reporters she met Liu on the driving range earlier in the week and had fond memories of her first time in the event.
“It’s pretty cool that she got an invite to play here,” she said. “I played my first event I was 14 and it was life-changing. I learned so many great experiences from it.”
“I was pretty star struck, so I think maybe if she can get past that and just play her game, that would be best.”
Having played a few practice rounds with LPGA Tour players already this week, Liu said she has been impressed with how kind they’ve been, while also learning from them.
“It definitely means a lot to me to be able to meet these people who I see on TV and to be able to play on the same playing field as them, that’s definitely something,” she said.
Liu tees off on Thursday afternoon at 1:03 p.m. ET. Henderson will try to defend her title beginning at 7:59 a.m.