Who Is The Youngest Player To Compete In The US Women’s Open?

Michelle Wie West? Lexi Thompson? Find out who is the youngest player ever to tee it up in the US Women's Open

US Women's Open
(Image credit: Getty Images)

There's often young prodigies that crop up and stun the sporting world and that's seems particularly the case in women's golf, with some incredibly young golfers having made it into the US Women's Open over the years.

Trailblazers such as Michelle Wie West and Lexi Thompson all set records at one stage, well plenty will remember Lucy Li qualifying for the US Women's Open aged just 11 back in 2014.

That makes Li the youngest player ever to qualify for the tournament, but incredibly she's not the youngest to ever play in the US Women's Open.

That honour lies with Beverley Klaas, who played in the 1967 US Women's Open at the tender age of just 10!

The Beverley Klass story is a remarkable one as the golf phenomenon actually played on the LPGA Tour when aged just eight!

The LPGA then changed its rules to prevent someone so young playing, and Klass later joined the tour in 1976. She did not manage to win, with her best results being two runner-up finishes in the 1984 season. Her best finish in a Major was tied 5th.

But Klass does have the record for the youngest player ever to compete in the US Women's Open, and one that will surely never be beaten - although a nine-year-old named Bella Simoes did try to qualify last year!

And that does not in any way reduce the achievements of the likes of Li, Thompson or Wie West in qualifying for the US Women's Open at such a young age.

Beverley Klass in Colgate European Women's Open of 1979 GettyImages-1328296418.jpg

Beverley Klass played in the US Women's Open aged just 10

(Image credit: Getty Images)

It doesn't always translate into an instantly successful LPGA Tour career though - as while Wie West and Thompson have gone on to win Majors, Li's career has not yet taken off.

Li is still only 21, so let's not get carried away, and she has obvious talent - playing in the Junior Ryder Cup and Junior Solheim Cup twice, and Curtis Cup once - winning all five.

Turning pro in 2019 aged 17, Li has won twice on the Epson Tour and has only just started playing full-time on the LPGA Tour, playing 21 times in 2023, making 13 cuts and having her best showings in the Majors

It's 10 years since Li not only qualified for the US Women's open, but did so in style by winning her qualifying tournament aged just 11 - and now just 21 could still have great things ahead of her.

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Youngest players to compete in the US Women's Open
Beverly Klass101967
Lucy Li112014
Lexi Thompson122007
Morgan Pressel132001
Michelle Wie West132003
Marlene Hagge131947
Angel Yin132012
Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.