Molly Smith birdied her first two holes at the U.S. Open qualifying local event on Wednesday. The 18-year old University of Central Florida student drove her brown minivan (fondly called “The Potato”) to LeBaron Hill Country Club in Lakeville in Massachusetts and competed against the men in a 18-hole qualifying round.
Molly said, “It has been raining here a lot and the course is soft. It’s a good day to go pin-seeking.”
The senior high school student would shoot a 2-under-70 to miss the cut. Five players from the LeBaron field advanced to the U.S. Open qualifying round, two of whom shot the highest score at 67. Smith missed out on one of the two alternate positions after a playoff. She’ll try qualifying for the U.S. Women’s Open on June 7.
Local qualifying is taking place at 109 locations in the U.S.A. and Canada. The Los Angeles Country Club North Course will host the 123rd U.S. Open from June 15-18.
Smith has played against men at club championships, and in Massachusetts qualifiers for both the Amateur and Open state events. She isn’t concerned about what other people might think of a woman competing in men’s golf events.
She said that the criteria for men’s U.S. Open qualifiers were pretty clear.
Molly Smith, 18 years old, missed out on advancing to the local qualifying round for the @usopengolf men’s event by one shot today. She will be attending UCF in the fall. pic.twitter.com/BcPXucz0iY
— Beth Ann Nichols (@GolfweekNichols) May 4, 2023
Molly is a former Massachusetts Junior Player Of The Year. She averages 275 yard off the tee and has a swing speed of 107 mph.
Emily Marron said, “She just exudes confidence.” I believe that she got it from playing with boys. She had to have confidence.”
Smith, along with her sister Morgan, who is 19 and will be attending Georgetown in the fall, will play together at The Home Course, DuPont Washington, at the U.S. women’s amateur four-ball later this month. Maddie, the 15-year-old Smith sister, also plays. Last week, Morgan and Molly were the first sister team to compete at the Massachusetts Four-Ball Championship. They took a joint 68th place out of 192 teams.
She will try to qualify for the Massachusetts Open on Monday.
Marron said that if you spend just three minutes with Smith, she’ll make you love her.