Bella Simoes tries to qualify at nine years old

The USGA this year accepted a record number of entries for qualifying for the upcoming US Women's Open which will take place July 6-9 for the first time at Pebble Beach

by Andrea Gussoni
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Bella Simoes tries to qualify at nine years old

The USGA this year accepted a record number of entries for qualifying for the upcoming US Women's Open which will take place July 6-9 for the first time at Pebble Beach. Among the 2,107 professionals and amateurs with an index below 2.4 candidates for a place in a Major, Bella Simoes was in the race to break a record.

Bella Simoes, results

From the height of her 9 years (she was born in August 2013), this young Brazilian who lives in South Florida could become the youngest player in history to qualify for a Major. She was at the start of a qualifying event in her state on the Club at Mediterra track located in Naples.

Unfortunately, the dream didn't come true for the three-time US Kids World Championship title holder. While the event is played over 36 holes in one day, the young girl had said goodbye to her chances in the first round after a heavy card of 85 (+13).

She did a little better in the afternoon with a score of 82 (+10). But the golfer already sponsored by TaylorMade will still be able to break the record next year. Indeed, Lucy Li had qualified at the age of 11 years, 7 months and 19 days for the US Women's Open 2014 and was a month older on the day of the first round of the event disputed at Pinehurst.

She had notably made an impression when she arrived with an ice cream in her hand and an innocent face at a press conference after the first round. Bella Simoes will certainly want to be inspired by the American who has since won twice on the Epson Tour last year and who is playing this year, at 20, on the LPGA.

While this is much rarer among men, other women have performed very young. Ariya Jutanugarn was 11 when she first qualified for an LPGA tournament. Lydia Ko won her first event on this circuit aged 15. Atthaya Thitikul was victorious at 14 on the LET. Recently, Louise Uma Landgraf created the sensation at 14 years old at Terre Blanche.

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