Lucy Li's "what-I-did-over-summer-vacation" story is going to be hard to top.

The 11-year-old golfer from Redwood City became the youngest player to qualify for the U.S. Women's Open by winning a sectional qualifier at Half Moon Bay's Old Course on Monday. The golf world appeared to still be in shock Tuesday.

One-time child prodigy and Stanford graduate Michelle Wie, who qualified for a major amateur tournament at the age of 10, tweeted: "WOAH!!! Amazing."

"It's just unbelievable for her to qualify for a U.S. Open," said Jim McLean, who has taught Li at his golf academy in Miami the past four-plus years. "I've had so many phone calls. It's just shocking, really."

Staff archives: Lucy Li, of Redwood Shores, gets a fist bump from her caddy as she competes in the qualifying tournament for the 2013 U.S. Women’s
Staff archives: Lucy Li, of Redwood Shores, gets a fist bump from her caddy as she competes in the qualifying tournament for the 2013 U.S. Women's Amateur at Sequoyah Country Club in Oakland, Calif. on July 11, 2013. (Kristopher Skinner/Bay Area News Group)

Li carded rounds of 2-over-par 74 and 4-under 68 on Monday as she supplanted Lexi Thompson as the youngest qualifier.

Thompson was 12 when she qualified for the U.S. Women's Open in 2007. Beverly Klass played in the 1967 Women's Open when she was 10, but that predated qualifying.

Hannah O'Sullivan of Cupertino was the last Bay Area phenom to qualify for the Open when she did so in 2012. But O'Sullivan was 14.

LPGA great Dottie Pepper said via Twitter: "Trying to get this straight in my head. Lucy Li qualifies for @USGA Women's Open. Her DOB (date of birth) is in this century. THIS CENTURY. Whoa!"

McLean, who owns Jim McLean Golf Schools, first encountered Li when she arrived as a 7-year-old golfing neophyte at his site on Doral Golf Resort & Spa in Miami.

He isn't easily impressed, given he works with prodigies on a regular basis. Thompson and Cristie Kerr are two other standout golfers who learned under McLean over the years.

It didn't take long before McLean realized that Li had the talent, disposition and drive to be special.

"Her second year when she came out, I saw that she was really getting to be very efficient with her golf swing, starting to learn the short-game shots and also that she had this fierce determination to be really good," McLean said.

Li spends the winter months in Miami working on her game. During that time, she rubs shoulders with the likes of Thompson, PGA Tour standout Keegan Bradley and many others.

She also attends the annual PGA Tournament at Trump National Doral. During the four-day event, McLean said, Li soaks up a ton of information and gleans insight into what it takes to be a successful golfer.

Li's first up-close look at playing alongside the pros comes June 19-22 at the famed Pinehurst No. 2, the site of this year's U.S. Women's Open.

McLean said Li has the potential to accomplish great things before she is through playing golf.

At the same time, he pointed out that Thompson failed to make the cut at the U.S. Open when she was 12 "and she's on her way to being the best player in the world."

McLean said Li will do fine if she just concentrates on enjoying the experience and basking in her accomplishment.

"She does have the makeup to (handle pressure) really well," McLean said. "But, she's still just a little girl. It's going to be a huge stage. ... There will be a tremendous amount of scrutiny. It's a lot to ask for her.

"Just the fact that she's going to be there is going to be a phenomenal experience. I never put high expectations on her or anybody until they're ready."

Then again, Li has a flair for rising to the challenge. In April, she won the girls 10-11 division at the inaugural Drive, Chip and Putt contest at Augusta National (Georgia), site of the Masters tournament.

"Once in a while, you see somebody like Alexis Thompson or Cristie Kerr, who I worked in the past and are great players who grew up here," McLean said. "But you never know when a kid is that young. A lot of things can derail a young person. Not Lucy."