9-year-old golfer advances to Junior World Championship 1 year after starting sport

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - 9-year-old Sophia Macias fell in love with the game of golf just one year ago, but has already had great success on the Junior level.

"My dad asked me, 'Would you rather play dance or golf?' And I thought golf was a better sport so I played golf," Macias said.

She says her favorite golf memory is returning from a course having known she shot a 37. "That was my best round," Macias said.

Her dad, James Macias, admits sometimes the ups and downs of the game gets to her, however she always finds a way to get back.

"On the way home, she was just in tears, soon as we got into the car, because she knew she didn't play her best," James said. "And she said, 'I want to do better, I want to get better, I want to make it to World and that's the defining moment of where we are today."

"She has put in the time and effort and the rest is history," her proud father continued.

Ryan McGwire, her instructor, spoke highly of Sophia's game as well.

"It's kind of like life you go through some rough patches, you either give up or keep on going," McGwire said. "She keeps going and gets better with each one."

Watching Sophia on the golf course it's clear she has the talent, drive, and work ethic to make it to that next level. Though she's only 9-years-old, her dad and her coach believes she's on the right track.

Sophia will "tee it up" next week in Pinehurst in the U.S. Kids Golf Junior World Championship.

She says she wants to at least finish in the Top 20 at Pinehurst. Then she wants to make it to Drive-Chip-Putt, a national golf skills competition for boys & girls, in Augusta.

"I think I've improved a lot because whenever I first started golf I was shooting in the 50s, not I'm shooting in the low 40s and sometimes in the 30s," Sophia said.

"Once she started to play better, she continued to progress and she's worked real hard," McGwire said. "She's a real good athlete. When I give her something to do, she works relentlessly on it."

For more information on the Junior World Championship, visit their website.

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