Youngster Liu Holds His Own

Jim Liu, 14, is the youngest player remaining in the 2010 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship (USGA/Robert Walker)
By Stuart Hall
July 14, 2010
Greensboro, N.C. — The standard bearer stood underneath a tree shy of the par-4 13th green. The standard read: “Liu 2 up.” 

“I walked the first 10 holes before I knew he was 14,” the man said of Jimmy Liu of Smithtown, N.Y., who eventually won 3 up over Colby Shrum in the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship’s opening round of match play at Bryan Park Golf & Conference Center.

Liu, the youngest player in this week’s field, is holding his own, both in size and game. He will face Canadian Darren Wallace, 21, a 2-and-1 winner over Tevis Upton, in Thursday morning’s second round.

Shrum, 22, of Perry, Okla., won the first hole with birdie, but never owned a lead thereafter. The match was squared at the 463-yard, par-4 second and 442-yard, par-4 fifth holes before Liu birdied the 536-yard, par-5 sixth for a lead he never relinquished.

“I just tried to stay calm early in the match and it went back and forth for a while,” Liu said. “Then I missed some opportunities on eight and nine. The main thing is that I was able to stay calm and pull away in the end.”

With scenic Townsend Lake as the backdrop Liu won the 205-yard, par-3 12th and 472-yard, par-4 13th with a birdie and par, respectively, to take a commanding 3-up lead.

“I played well,” said Liu, a rising junior at the Knox School in St. James, N.Y. “My course management was good. I just had a couple of mental mistakes that I wish I would have handled differently.”

Liu is trying to pace himself during the first of successive national championships. He has also qualified for next week’s U.S. Junior Amateur in Ada, Mich.

“I’ve been playing pretty well this summer, I have gone really low, but then I haven’t played really bad,” he said. “So all in all I’ve been OK, but I could be a little more consistent.”

As Shrum found out on Wednesday, age is relative when playing against Liu, who won four titles, including three in a row, at the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship before age 10. At the U.S. Open sectional qualifier at Noyac Golf Club in Sag Harbor, N.Y., on May 19, Liu missed being an alternate by four strokes.

In Liu’s group that day was caddie Tony Marr, whose father, Dave, won the 1965 PGA Championship. 

“The kid is a player,” Marr was quoted as saying.

Liu says he does not feel like a young kid among young men this week.

“No, I really don’t think about it,” he said. “They treat me like just another player. The main thing, like any other tournament, is that we’re all trying to win.”

Stuart Hall is a freelance writer whose work has previously appeared on USGA websites.

Follow the USGA
Become a Facebook Fan of the USGAFollow us on Twitter @USGA
World Amateur Golf Ranking
WAGR Counting Event
Partner Links
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image

The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.

Chevron image

Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.

Rolex image

IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website,, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit

AmEx image

Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit

AmEx image
American Express

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit

AmEx image