In less than two weeks, the golf world will descend on Los Angeles for one of the most prestigious and lucrative tournaments in the world.
The 123rd United States Open Championship, one of golf’s four major championships, will be held at Los Angeles Country Club June 15-18.
This year’s Open boasts competitors like the No.1 player in the world Scottie Scheffler, five-time major winner Brooks Koepka and three-time major winner Jordan Spieth, just a few names among a crowded field of golf’s best players.
Hoping to join that illustrious group? A seventh grader from Burbank.
Jaden Soong, 13, is the youngest player ever to make the second round of qualifying for the U.S. Open.
If he plays well enough at Hillcrest Country Club on Monday, the Thomas Starr King Middle School student will be the youngest to ever play the U.S. Open and will compete alongside the best in the world, including Spieth, one of Soong’s favorite golfers and himself a previous winner of the U.S. Open.
“Thank you to all that have supported and helped me get this opportunity. Dream big and you never know what can happen,” Soong wrote on Instagram after making it through local qualifying last month.
It won’t be an easy task for Soong, as he must finish in the top five of the 89 competitors in L.A. as part of “Golf’s Longest Day,” when hundreds of golfers play 36 holes — two full rounds — at locations all around the country.
That said, almost 10,000 golfers try to make the U.S. Open each year, so he’s already made it farther than thousands, many much older and more experienced than Soong. He told USA Today he wants “to go in there with no expectations.”
“Excited for the chance to tee it up with great players and thankful for this opportunity,” he added on Twitter. “Thank you to everyone that has supported me on this journey. Good luck to all!!”