With pigtails and plenty of giggles, Lucy Li just wants to have fun like any 11-year-old girl. Except that Li became the youngest qualifier in U.S. Women's Open history and became the youngest golfer to compete in the Open since 10-year-old Beverly Klass in 1967 (inset).
2 of 10Al Tielemans/SI
Guan Tianlang - PGA (2013)
Age: 14 years, 5 months, 17 days |
Guan became the youngest player to make the cut in a PGA Tour event, competing in the Masters. Winning the 2012 Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in Thailand, despite being ranked No. 490 among world amateurs, earned Guan automatic qualification to Augusta, where he finished 58th in the tournament.
3 of 10AP
Joe Nuxhall - MLB (1944)
Age: 15 years, 10 months, 11 days |
With World War II sending many major leaguers into active duty, 15-year-old Nuxhall had a window to rapidly ascend to the majors. He took the mound for the Cincinnati Reds against the St. Louis Cardinals and logged two-thirds of an innings. He didn't fare so well: he threw a wild pitch and allowed five runs on five walks and two hits. He did, however, enjoy a 15-year big-league career.
4 of 10Chris Keane/Icon SMI
Amobi Okoye - NFL (2007)
Age: 19 years, 3 months, 6 days |
Okoye, a first-round selection of the Houston Texans, appeared in his first game as a rookie and became the youngest player to take an NFL field in the Super Bowl Era. Though he never lived up to his promise as the 10th overall selection, Okoye was named defensive rookie of the month in September 2007.
5 of 10Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images
Andrew Bynum - NBA (2005)
Age: 18 years and 6 days |
Drafted out of high school at 17 and taking the floor for the Los Angeles Lakers at 18, Bynum logged six minutes against the Denver Nuggets and missed both of his shots. He improved and became a big piece for the Lakers before injuries began to hamper his career.
6 of 10Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images
Bep Guidolin - NHL (1942)
Age: 16 years, 11 months, 3 days |
Guidolin became the youngest player to skate in an NHL game when he took the ice for the Boston Bruins, who were missing several regulars that were serving in World War II. He played nine NHL seasons and later coached Bobby Orr.
7 of 10Harry How/Getty Images
Tommy Ho - ATP (1988)
Age: 15 years, 2 months, 12 days |
Ho played in the U.S. Open's main draw two months after his 15th birthday and lost. He enjoyed some early success, particularly playing doubles, but was held back by injuries and never reached a singles ranking higher than No. 85.
8 of 10Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Martina Hingis - WTA (1994)
Age: 14 years and 10 days |
The daughter of two professional tennis players, Hingis burst onto the scene at a young age, and also became the youngest player to win a Grand Slam match with a first-round win at the 1995 Australian Open. She went on to win five Grand Slam singles titles and nine Grand Slam women's doubles titles.
9 of 10Simon Bruty/SI
Freddy Adu - MLS (2004)
Age: 14 years, 10 months, 1 day |
Adu, supposedly America's great soccer prodigy, became the youngest player to appear in a game and the youngest to score -- during the 2004 season with D.C. United. But he struggled to reach the lofty expectations, and at age 25 has yet to become a mainstay in the United States national side.
10 of 10Courtesy of Ken Moeller
Tommie Elliott - NASCAR (1951)
Age: 15 years, 7 months, 5 days |
Elliott logged his first career race at an age where today he wouldn't have legally been able to drive. His career, however, was unspectacular, and Elliott raced his final laps in 1958.
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