By John Strege
News that an 11-year-old, Lucy Li, a sixth-grader, has qualified to play in the U.S. Women’s Open, the youngest in history, brought to mind the time the LPGA invited 13-year-old twins, Aree and Naree Wongluekiet, seventh-graders, to compete in the Nabisco Championship, as the LPGA’s first major was known then, in 2000.
Aree (shown here) was in contention in the final round and was in a pairing with eventual winner Karrie Webb and Dottie Pepper, when this conversation took place on the third hole:
“Where are you from?” Webb asked Wongluekiet.
“I live in Bradenton,” she replied.
“Where is that?” Webb asked.
“I don’t know,” Aree replied.
“You know, I just think that’s sad,” Pepper said later, after recounting the conversation.
Aree, who finished tied for 10th in the Nabisco, and Naree are now 28 and neither enjoyed professional success.
(Getty Images photo)