Bella Simoes Is The Brazilian Nine-year-old Who Has Already Taken The Golfing World By Storm
Bella Simoes had already been branded the most dominant golfer of her age when she made headlines earlier this week as she attempted to qualify for the US Women’s Open at just age nine.
Although her quest wasn’t successful, it’s clear she already has the making to be the LPGA Tour’s next star.
The Brazilian youngster already has a huge following on social media to accompany her packed trophy cabinet that has seen the sponsorship deals roll in.
But, despite already being a three-time US Kids World Champion, the starlet already has her sights set on bigger and better things, including an Olympic gold medal and multiple major wins.
Here, DailyMail.com takes a look at the prodigy’s golfing journey, from where it all began, the family sacrifices and even an appearance from a former President.
Bella Simoes is the nine-year-old Brazilian who has already taken the golf world by storm
The youngster has already been described as one of the most dominant players of her age
A FAST START
Bella had a club in her hand, not long after most children have just started to walk.
The prodigy began her golfing journey at age two after catching interest from watching her dad, Rodrigo, at the driving range.
She started learning officially at the Golf Club of Brasilia, in Brazil, under the coaching of Vincente Pereira, who had a battle on his hands to teach a two-year-old but clearly he succeeded.
By the time Bella was competing at her first worlds, Bruno Freitas had taken over the role as her coach.
Freitas, who is currently the professional at Sao Fernando Golf Club in Sao Paulo, Brazil, is also a coach at the Brasil Kids Golf Academy and even trained Bella full time in Miami, Florida, from January 2020-August 2020, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Bella has also been taken under the wing of the Don Law Golf Academy, in Boca Raton, Florida, an academy specializing in training future stars.
Seven years on from taking her first swing, the nine-year-old has ramped up her dedication, training for four hours a day.
Bella had a club in her hand by age two and began golf lessons in Brazil as just a toddler
A TROPHY CABINET LIKE NO OTHER NINE-YEAR-OLD’S
Four hours a day of practice clearly pays off.
Despite such a young age, Bella has already established a well-stocked trophy cabinet.
She started competing in tournaments at age five and won her first one. Winning swiftly became a habit for the starlet.
She has since gone back-to-back at the US Kids World Championships with three victories at Pinehurst.
She scooped up her first win at the tournament, a three-day championship for golfers aged 5-12, in 2020 in the Girls Seven and Under category, aged six, beating girls a year older than her.
She defended her title in 2021 by a massive nine strokes before going on to re-establish her dominance in the Girls Eight category last year.
The rising star has a unique way of celebrating her world titles, jumping in the lake at Pinehurst after each of her three victories.
But her success isn’t limited to the worlds.
Despite such a young age, Bella has already established a well-stocked trophy cabinet
The starlet has gone back-to-back at the US Kids World Championships with three victories
She celebrates each of her three World titles by jumping in the lake at Pinehurst
She’s also a three-time Florida State Champion and a back-to-back winner at the Jekyll Island regional, in addition to her wins at the Texas Open, Georgia Invitational, PGA Invitational, and UA Regional Championship.
Not one to shy away from a challenge, Bella has also proven she’s capable of taking on the older girls and the boys, winning the Girls 11-12 division of the South Florida PGA at eight-years-old and the Boys and Girls 6-8 South East Regional of the 2021 Junior Tour powered by Under Armour.
Bella previously revealed she prefers beating the boys over the girls, saying, ‘I know I can play as good as them.’
She also had the honor of representing Brazil at the South American Championships in her home country in 2021 and, to no one’s surprise, won that too, this time by an outstanding 19 strokes.
Undoubtedly, her peers and many adult golfers will be desperate to know her secret and they may be surprised to hear it has something to do with Eminem.
Bella revealed that it’s not Brazil’s traditional Samba or even Baile Funk that she listens to in order to get herself in the zone before hitting the course but rather the rapper’s famous track ‘Lose Yourself.’
The rap really does seem to get her blood pumping as her dad revealed to the Junior Tour that his daughter was already hitting the ball a stunning 198 yards – and who knows how that number could rocket in a couple of years’ time.
She represented Brazil at the South American Championships in her home country in 2021
‘DADDY CADDIE’ AND CO.
Her success at all these tournaments in the United States is owed to her parents’ decision to uproot and move from Brazil to Florida to give their daughter better opportunities.
With a better golfing structure and more tournaments on offer for children in the States, Rodrigo and Adriana Simoes moved to Florida, where they now live in Miami.
Rodrigo even travels back and forth from the US to Brazil to ensure his daughter has the best shot at a professional career as he still owns a business back in his home country.
‘The only thing I can do is provide everything [she needs] so that she can be the best,’ he told The Junior Tour. ‘Give her the tools.’
Freitas even continued to coach Bella full time in Miami, according to his LinkedIn profile, and still makes the trip up from Brazil to caddie from time to time.
Rodrigo has acted as a ‘Daddy Caddie’ for many tournaments in the past but has admitted that it gets difficult to separate his on-course duties from his support role for his daughter, which is when Freitas has gotten the call up.
Her dad plays but has jokingly admitted ‘badly’ and insisted he was at not standard to be able to coach Bella, while he claimed that he tried to get her mom into the sport to no avail.
Her dad Rodrigo (left) and former coach Bruno Freitas (right) have caddied for her
Bella has also been taken under the wing of the Don Law Golf Academy (pictured) in Florida
SOCIAL MEDIA SENSATION
The Brazilian starlet has recorded her golfing journey on Instagram, which is managed by her mom.
The pair have shared 981 posts and have dazzled social media with her achievements, racking up a massive following of 11,000.
Her achievements on and off the course have caught the eye of some of the biggest brands in the sport.
She joined the likes of Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Nelly Korda and Scottie Scheffler in the TaylorMade ranks.
The golf equipment giant began sponsoring the youngster in January and she shared a photo of herself leaning on a TaylorMade golf bag behind a haul of branded hats, balls, gloves and an umbrella to her Instagram.
The future star has also showed of her collection of Under Armour golf shoes, caps and clothing in several posts on her social media.
Bella even revealed on Instagram that she had played with former President Donald Trump at his Trump International Golf Club Palm Beach.
She shared a photo of her posing with the Trump last year, before sharing a video of the 45th President looking wowed as he watched her strike the ball on the driving range.
Golf equipment giant TaylorMade began sponsoring the youngster in January
Bella even revealed on Instagram that she had played with former President Donald Trump
SKY’S THE LIMIT
Bella is inspired by stars World No. 1 Nelly Korda and 15-time major winner Woods, according to Brazilian outlet Corriero.
And, she is aiming – and is arguably on track – to replicate their success.
The youngster’s goal is to one day reach the LPGA Tour and win not one but ‘many’ majors, she claimed in an interview with The Junior Tour.
In addition to golf’s highest honors, Bella also had her sights set on the Paris Olympics in 2024, according to Corriero, but she might have to delay her gold medal aspirations as her dad explained that that dream is ‘more complicated.’
Rodrigo explained to the Brazilian publication that the Olympic Games rely on the professional Rolex Rankings and if a country doesn’t have any players inside the rankings it won’t enter that particular sport.
Instead, Bella may have to settle for Brisbane 2032 – one year after she is scheduled to graduate from high school.
However, for now, Bella and Rodrigo are thinking short-term. Her dad told The Junior Tour that the ‘dream’ is to get his daughter into the US Women’s Open by age 10 to break Lucy Li’s record.
Bella is inspired by stars World No. 1 Nelly Korda (right) and 15-time major winner Tiger Woods
Li set the new mark as the youngest player to qualify for the major as an 11-year-old in 2014, breaking Lexi Thompson’s previous mark of age 12 in 2007.
Thompson was of course an impressive golfing prodigy who broke on to the scene after her US Open appearance and has gone on to win the Chevron Championship, record 11 victories on the LPGA Tour and become a Solheim Cup hero.
Bella had her first attempt at qualifying aged nine this week but wasn’t successful, finishing tied-59.
Despite not qualifying this year, she will undoubtedly have another shot next year and it seems Bella is very much on track to become Brazil’s Lexi Thompson – or more.