MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - It was a swing forged early.
At the River Oaks Golf Club in Myrtle Beach, one girl has already been crowned a Champion.
Forget one of the best in the State... Mia Gray is one of the best in the world.
And she’s only 13.
“She’s far exceeded every expectation I had of her,” Mia’s father, Mike Gray, said.
He is the assistant golf coach at Carolina Forest High School.
“I was a golfer," Gray said. “I was in the golf business. When she was 1, 2 years old, she’s crawling around in my golf store putting.”
“The love grew over the years,” Mia says. “About 2 years ago is when I really started to enjoy and wanting to just be out there all the time.”
Mia’s dream where many athletes begin theirs - the backyard - working on what would become the highlight of her game.
“It’s definitely the driving because ever since I was little, that’s what I’ve been practicing the most on.”
Gray competes with girls 5 years older than her.. driving the ball further than anybody at 240 yards a clip.
With so much success so early, it can bring challenges few can overcome - something Gray embraces.
“Sometimes it’s a little overwhelming but I love golf so much,” Mia explains. “It’s my place where I can calm down and not think about anything that’s going on in my outside life and just focus on one thing.”
While dealing with the pressure, she's learned a lesson along the way.
“I’ve learned that I cannot only hang with them, but I can be them and be at their level at this age and I’ve learned to just make friends with all of them and have a good time when I’m out there.”
Mia dropped out of her 8th grade year of Middle School so she can take online classes and train more on the course.
She’s already seeing the benefits of that with big time Universities clamoring for her attention including Oklahoma State, Auburn and South Carolina.
Gray will play Tuesday in the 5A South Carolina State Championship.