12-year-old(!) Michelle Liu is making her LPGA debut this week

August 21, 2019
Michelle Liu plays a shot during a practice round ahead of her LPGA debut.

Michelle Liu is getting ready for one of the biggest challenges of her young life, and we’re not talking about back-to-school preparations.

Liu is making her LPGA debut this week at the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open. She finds herself in the field after earning low-Canadian honors three weeks ago at the Canadian Women’s Amateur. But the most impressive part is that she’s just 12 years old, making her the youngest player to ever compete in this event.

Defending champion Brooke Henderson previously held that record at 14 years old. Only one other teenager has won this event — Lydia Ko at age 15. Needless to say, Liu is in good company.

As for Liu, she definitely feels like the rising star she is. “I got to sign a lot of autographs,” she said. “I feel like I’m getting pretty famous.”

She also played a practice round with three-time LPGA Tour winner Christina Kim on Tuesday, leaving Kim thoroughly impressed.

Kim even posted evidence of Liu’s talent to Instagram.

Despite her own star power, Liu was impressed with fellow Canadian Henderson after watching Henderson on the range. “It’s definitely inspiring for me to see one Canadian be so good,” she said of the defending champ.

As for her own journey in the game, Liu has come a long way since the golf bug bit her six-and-a-half years ago at summer camp. She found a coach through a friend and has been on the rise ever since.

Ever your average 12-year-old, Liu plays volleyball and basketball for her school and counts art, baking and philanthropy among her many hobbies. Asked about her goals for the week, Liu sounded wise beyond her years. “I hope for a lot, and I expect a little bit less.”

Liu will tee it up Thursday at 1:03 p.m. alongside recent amateur-turned-pro Jennifer Kupcho. who rose to stardom as the winner of the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur and Austin Ernst in the first round at Magna Golf Club in Ontario.