The Talented Mr. Liu

Long Island 14-Year-Old A Rising Junior Talent


By Stuart Hall
July 19, 2010

When Jimmy Liu was 6 and still just a neophyte to the game of golf, he won the 2002 U.S. Kids Golf World Championship age division in a three-way playoff.

Was his winning a case of beginner’s luck or of him being supremely talented? At the time, no one really knew.

“It just really motivated him to keep playing,” said Liu’s father, Limings. “It gave him the confidence to keep getting better.”

Liu also liked tennis, but not so much swimming, which his mother, Youshuang, preferred. Golf, though, really nabbed Liu’s attention. He enjoyed the time on the course, the competition and, of course, winning.

Today, the 14-year-old Liu continues to make strides and succeed. Coming off a second-round loss at last week’s U.S.

Jim Liu plays his second shot at the 16th hole during the --- b_jimliujramateur07192010
 Jim Liu, 14, is the youngest player to ever compete in the APL and the youngest to reach the round of 16 at the Junior Amateur. (Steven Gibbons/USGA)
Amateur Public Links Championship in Greensboro, N.C., Liu is competing in this week’s U.S. Junior Amateur at Egypt Valley Country Club in Ada, Mich. He opened the 36-hole stroke-play qualifying portion of the championship on Monday with a solid even-par 72.

“I’ve been playing pretty well this summer,” Liu said. “I haven’t gone really low, but then I haven’t played really bad. All in all I have been alright.”

Liu entered 2010 as a second-team American Junior Golf Association all-American. He also has more than two dozen junior tour titles, which includes three-straight U.S. Kids Golf World Championship titles (2004-06) and a win earlier this year at the International Junior Golf Tour’s Verizon Junior Heritage Championship. Also, at age 9, Liu shot a 59 at the Plantations Junior Golf Tour Championship on the 4,300-yard Lake Buena Vista Golf Course in Orlando, Fla.

“He never tires of golf,” Limings said. “Off the course he’s like any other kid his age, but he really enjoys playing. He never tires.”

For all of his successes, though, Liu, a well-spoken teen from Smithtown, N.Y., and a rising sophomore at The Knox School, covets a USGA title.

“It doesn’t matter which event, a USGA title is as big as you can get,” said Liu, who was the youngest player ever in last week’s APL field. At last year’s U.S. Junior Am, Liu, then 13, became the youngest to ever advance to the round of 16. “They test every part of my game, the courses are always tough. If you win one, you really have earned it.”

And that is why Liu continues to refine his game with hours of practice and competition. During breaks in his school year, Liu visits instructor John Anselmo at Meadowlark Golf Club in Huntington Beach, Calif. Anselmo played professionally during the Sam Snead and Ben Hogan era and later became one of Tiger Woods’ earlier instructors.

Little doubt that Woods has indirectly influenced Liu’s game. Not only is the World No. 1 Liu’s favorite to watch, Liu likens his swing to Woods’ — with a caveat.

“It would be Tiger Woods pre-2002,” said Liu, who considers himself more of a feel golfer. “I just like his old swing. He’s a lot flatter now and before he took it more upright. And I just think upright is more consistent.”

But the question remains whether Liu was the recipient of good fortune or just that talented. The answer may lie outside of golf.

Several years ago, Liu was interested in fishing, so as a birthday present, he was taken saltwater fishing. With one of his first casts Liu reeled in a striped bass.

So would Liu ever pursue a career on the Bassmasters Tour?

“Uhh … I don’t think so,” he laughed. “I think I’ll stick with golf.”

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
THE RULES OF GOLF APP
Get The Rules of Golf App For Your iPhone Or Android Today
 
Partner Links
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
Chevron
   

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
   

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
   

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, www.usopen.com, 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 http://www.usopen.com/IBM

AmEx image
Lexus
   

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 http://www.lexus.com/

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 www.americanexpress.com/entertainment


AmEx image