Jaden Soong, 13, impresses as youngest ever to attempt final stage of US Open qualifying

CNN  — 

Jaden Soong will not be among the star-studded field at the US Open next week, but his is a name that looks unlikely to disappear from golf any time soon.

The 13-year-old turned heads with his performance as he attempted to become the youngest ever player to make it to the major at a final qualifier at Hillcrest Country Club in Los Angeles on Monday.

A seventh grader at Thomas Starr King Middle School in California, Soong was granted absence time to compete in the grueling two round, 36-hole event dubbed “Golf’s Longest Day”.

An 89-player field that featured a host of professional players, including three-time PGA Tour winner Brendan Steele, were battling for five places at the 123rd edition of the major, set to tee off at The Los Angeles Country Club in California next Thursday.

Also in action at Hillcrest was 18-year-old Dylan Block, son of last month’s PGA Championship hero Michael Block. His father was also bidding to qualify via an event in Toronto, Canada.

Soong became the youngest ever to reach the final round of US Open qualifying after edging through a three-way first stage playoff at Brentwood Country Club in California last month, securing his passage with a 12-foot putt.

He teed off at Hillcrest bidding to become the youngest golfer to play at the major since China’s Andy Zhang, who was just 14 years and 183 days old when he teed off at the 2012 edition of the tournament.

Soong ultimately fell short, carding 73 and 76 to finish seven-over par, 16 shots behind the highest scoring qualifiers. However, with his 14th birthday not until January 2024, Soong will have another opportunity to break Zhang’s record next year.

Zhang in action at the 2012 US Open at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, California.

It continues a stellar year for golfing prodigies, coming less than a month after nine-year-old Bella Simões became the youngest player to ever attempt qualification for the Women’s edition of the major.

The Brazilian similarly impressed despite missing out on besting the youngest US Women’s Open qualifier record set by Lexi Thompson, who was 12 when she teed off at the 2007 edition of the major.

Meanwhile, Stanford University sensation Rose Zhang continues to wage a solo battle on the history books. Just weeks after becoming the first women’s golfer to defend an NCAA individual title and mere days after her 20th birthday, Zhang clinched the Mizuho Americas Open to become the first player to win an LPGA tournament in her professional debut since 1951.

Neither Block stamped their ticket to the major next week, with the youngest finishing three shots behind Soong. His father missed out in agonizing fashion, finishing just two shots behind the highest scoring qualifier at Ontario’s Lambton Golf and Country Club and just one shy of making it on to the alternate list.