Lucy Li- What time is it?


#1

Junior golf phenom Lucy Li recently appeared in an Apple watch ad.

Is this a breach of amateur status? According to rule 6-2, it totally is.
An amateur golfer of golf skill or reputation must not use that skill or reputation to obtain payment, compensation, personal benefit or any financial gain, directly or indirectly, for (i) promoting, advertising or selling anything, or (ii) allowing his name or likeness to be used by a third party for the promotion, advertisement or sale of anything.

There’s obviously a lot of grey area here. For example, when kids are decked out in their collegiate Titleist gear in the US Am, are they not promoting Titleist? When 14 year-old @Tron went on his alleged 25 consecutive par run, was getting comped after the round at Waffle House a breach?

My main question here: what was she thinking? What were her parents thinking? I guess if Lil’ Lucy goes pro next week and foregoes her junior year of high school, we’ll know.


#2

It has to be, but whether the USGA will do anything about it… I don’t know. I imagine they won’t.

I think they should, because the Rules are what they are. I also think they should somewhat change the Rules. There’s too much “wink wink” stuff going on in the junior golf game these days. Either make some of the stuff legal or re-write the Rules in some other way.

I appreciate the division between “amateur” and “pro” as it helps to enforce policies for local, state, national, etc. tournaments and things.


#3

Why does it seem like, in almost all athletic scenarios these days, people advocate for the rule to change instead of pushing for the “wink wink” activity to cease?


#4

I think they have to bar her from amateur golf. She’s basically giving the USGA the middle finger with a mega #brand behind her. And a non-golf brand, at that.


#5

How about let the most talented athletes at any age profit from their skill? Why not allow Lucy Li to get paid for advertisements but not receive payment at tournaments? The answer shouldn’t be ban her from amateur golf and then not allow her on the LPGA because she is too young. The whole thought of amateurism is so outdated and it shows in NCAA athletics. She is a star at 15 and is going to be a star. Why can’t she make some money?


#6

If you want to abolish the idea and ideals of amateurism, so be it. That discussion can be had. But the fact of the mater is, under the current rules of the current governing body, she’s not an amateur anymore.


#7

I would agree with that. This is clearly breaking the rules.


#8

This, seems pretty cut and dry to me.


#9

Point # 1:
Holy shit. When I heard she appeared in a commercial, I was not expecting her to be launching golf balls and putting! What were her parents thinking?

Point # 2:
I speculate that a long time ago, being considered an “amateur” was meant not to hinder people from being paid, but to provide a level playing field and to give weekend athletes a chance to shine in local and national tournaments. As the world began to increase the standard of living, more people had time and financial resources to devote to leisure activities such as attending a sports event.

Seeing the need to attract and capture attendees, organizations formed to promote their sport. As organizations grew, they hired full-time employees. Overhead went up and so did the need for sponsorship dollars and gate receipts. However, money was never doled to anyone outside of the amateur organization because they never had to, and that became the norm until the O’Bannon brothers brought suit, and won, against the NCAA. The judgement has paved the way for more equitable (but still totally lopsided) distribution of revenue between some amateur organizations and athletes. The USGA seems to be one of the amateur-governing organizations that has retained their power over athletes.


#10

It would be so perfectly on brand for the morons at the USGA to harp on a 16 year old girl for doing an Apple ad, because “Oh the sanctity of amatuerism!” but then turn around and give John Peterson, who made OVER $2.5 MILLION as a professional golfer, his amateur status back.

I realize these aren’t perfect comparisons but it just shows how ridiculously absurd their amateur rules are.

Fuck the USGA and NCAA forever and until the end of time.


#11

Just got the press release.

She was found in breach of 6-2 in the Rules of Amateur Status, and given a one-time warning. She remains an amateur.