Smith comes within one stroke of the Men’s US Open


James Farley

Smith follows through during her swing.

James Farley, Co-Editor-in-Chief

After shooting a 70, good for two under par, at a one day local qualifier for the Men’s US Open at Lebaron Hills Country Club on May 3, senior Molly Smith came within one stroke of qualifying for the US Open. The US Open is one of the four major tournaments for the men’s Professional Golf Association (PGA), making it a challenging and nationally awaited sporting event across the United States. With only the greatest golfers in the entire country competing in the event, Smith coming within one stroke of qualifying as just an 18-year-old is an incredible feat.

With great poise over the course of her round, Smith played an outstanding 18 holes of golf, making for a performance that she is proud of.

“I feel like I played well that day, and I was in control of my golf ball which is always something I’m looking for. I was swinging pretty well and my putter felt solid,” Smith said. “Obviously I’m a little disappointed to miss by one stroke, but overall there were a lot of positives from the day.”

After Smith’s incredible performance at the qualifying event, she immediately received a great deal of national attention. Since the event, Smith has been interviewed by ESPN, the Golf Channel, and Golf Week.

“It has just been super crazy,” Smith said. “I was totally not expecting this at all.”

Heading into the day, Smith knew that she was walking into a tough match. The event consisted of an all-men’s field aside from Smith, meaning that she had to play longer holes than usual.

“I knew that participating would definitely turn some heads. When I tried to sign up, they asked me if I was trying to sign up for the Women’s US Open Qualifier and I had to explain how I wanted to try out for the Men’s US Open,” Smith said. “So, they had to recalculate my women’s handicap to a handicap from “men’s” tees. But, I have played men’s events before so it wasn’t really a super strange experience for me.”

Part of a reason for Smith’s great success is her ability to stay mentally focused as she plays, regardless of the conditions of the course, who she is playing against, or how well she is playing that day.

“Over the last year or so I feel like I have made great strides in my mental game. I never believe that I am out of a round, and I always believe there is still a way for me to play well, even if things are not going well, which is extremely helpful to not get worked up,” Smith said.

Another factor to Smith’s success is the strong support system that is by her side throughout her golf journey. Her older sister Morgan, who will be attending Georgetown University for golf next year, and Maddie, who is a freshman golfer at WA, are constant supporters of hers. Both of her parents are strong golfers, as well.

“My family has helped me tremendously,” Smith said. “I come from a super competitive family, so we are always trying to get better and beat each other.”

Smith has an important summer schedule coming up, with the US Four Ball tournament with Morgan, the qualifying round for the Women’s US Open, the US Women’s Amateur Golf Championship, the US Girls Junior Amateur, and the Massachusetts Women’s Amateur approaching.

Smith will be attending the University of Central Florida (UCF) next year, where she will continue her golf career.

“I’m looking forward to the competitiveness of the tournaments at [UCF]. Every tournament we play in is going to have a super talented field with a lot of the best college players and teams, so to be able to play in really high level events more often is going to be awesome,” Smith said. “I chose UCF because it just fit perfectly for what I was looking for both on and off the golf course.”