Sports 101

Start young. That seems to be the motto these days. And golf is no exception. Tiger Woods was just 2 when his father first handed him a golf club. In women's golf, two prodigies are getting noticed: 13-year-old twins Aree and Naree Wongluekiet (pronounced Wahn-gloo-KEE-it). "[Their game] will evolve as the girls evolve," says coach Jonathan Yarwood. "I don't know if that's 17, 18, or 19. They're headed in the right direction. We have to be concerned with avoiding burnout, overexposure, injury.... But if they keep it up, they're going to be pretty good."

Q: What's the story behind these top twins?

A: Aree and Naree moved from Thailand in 1997 with their parents to Bradenton, Fla., where they attend the David Leadbetter Golf Academy. The precocious sisters have been playing golf since the age of 7, and since May 1, 1999 (when they turned 13), Aree and Naree have competed in several American Junior Gold Association tournaments, winning seven of the 10 events in their age category.

Q: What tournament did the sisters recently compete in?

A: The Nabisco Championship LPGA tournament in Rancho Mirage, Calif., the first major tournament of the year on the Ladies Professional Gold Tour. It was their first professional event.

Q: Are they allowed to turn pro?

A: No. LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association) limits players without tour cards to four tour events per year. They are not allowed to play full-time on the LPGA tour until they are 18.

Q: What's next for the sisters?

A: They hope to qualify for the Chick-fil-A Charity Championship, April 28-30, and the Philips Invitational Honoring Harvey Penick, May 4-7.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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