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An 18-year-old girl playing against men missed by one shot at a U.S. Open local qualifier

May 04, 2023

As a high school senior, Molly Smith has one last round of finals before heading off to college. In the meantime, the 18-year-old nearly aced a much different kind of test.

Smith shot a two-under-par 70 on Wednesday at a U.S. Open local qualifier at LeBaron Hills Country Club to miss out on advancing by a single shot. Thanks to Golfweek's Beth Ann Nichols for reporting this cool story.

“It’s been raining a lot here and the course was soft,” Smith told Nichols, “a day you could go pin-seeking.”

Smith birdied two of her first three holes, but played the final 15 holes in even par. Five other male golfers advanced to U.S. Open final qualifying from the Lakeville, Mass., site.

But we're guessing this won't be the last we hear about Smith, a University of Central Florida commit, who absolutely mashes a golf ball. Just look at this powerful swing:

According to Golfweek, Smith, who is used to teeing it up against the guys, averages 275 yards off the tee with a swing speed of 107 miles per hour.

“She just oozes confidence,” UCF coach Emily Marron told Golfweek, “and I think that comes from growing up playing with the boys. She had to be confident.”

Smith will play with older sister Morgan in the U.S. Women's Amateur Four-Ball later this month, and in June she'll attempt to qualify for the U.S. Women's Open.