Another double-bogey came on the 450-yard 16th hole when her fairway metal went into a bunker some 20 yards short of an elevated green, leaving a shot so hard even the best men would have a tough time. Her bunker shot was not strong enough, and she wound up missing a 7-foot bogey putt.
Asked to have one swing back, it would be the wedge on the short third hole. She went left of the flag, and it trickled off the turtleback green -- the signature of this Donald Ross course -- and into a bunker. She blasted out over the green, chipped on to 18 feet and three-putted for triple-bogey.
But she made a pair of smooth birdies -- a 6-iron to 15 feet on No. 1, and a wedge to a right pin position on the fifth hole -- along with some tough par saves. The best came at the 426-yard eighth hole, when her 5-wood from 198 yards went long and over a steep slope right of the green. She lofted a pitch perfectly, and it rolled 6 feet by the cup. This is the same hole where John Daly putted off the green so many times in 1999 that he whacked the ball with his putter when it was still moving and rang up an 11.
"Give her that shot again and she can't do that another 50 times, probably," O'Donnell said.
Along the way in a 5½-hour round, Li often plopped to the ground in the shade and sat until it was time to hit, one time munching from a cup of fruit.
"I normally sit down even more than that," she said, giggling as always.
Kaymer last week used putter exclusively when he was just off the green. Li chose to chip because that's what made her more comfortable. She won the driving and chipping portion of the Drive, Chip & Putt Championship two months ago at Augusta National.
That was for kids. This is for grown-ups. She fit in just fine.
"She's so much more mature than I could possibly imagine," said Jessica Wallace, the other player in their group. "She's a lot better than people thought. She's very capable on this golf course. She played like she belongs out here. And it was a real pleasure."
The youngest player to make the cut was 13-year-old Marlene Bauer, who tied for 14th in 1947. That was the second U.S. Women's Open, and Baeur -- whose married name was Hagge -- became one of the founders of the LPGA Tour.
It was a long day for Lucy Li, and part of her was glad it was over. She also was looking forward to another chance Friday.
And what will she do in the meantime?
"Eat some more ice cream," she said.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.