Nelly and Jessica Korda, Minjee and Min Woo Lee, Preston and Grace Summerhays. The list of golf sibling duos is numerous, these being just some of the most recent prosperous pairings at the pro and amateur levels. Many of those pairs have succeeded at each other's side, at least at some point during their careers. But a new brother-sister duo—Eugenio and Carolina Chacarra of Madrid, Spain—have them all beat when it comes to simultaneously breaking away from the field.
Eugenio, a senior at Oklahoma State, and Carolina, a freshman at Wake Forest, recently clinched their first collegiate wins in epic coincidental fashion. Eugenio shot a final-round 10-under 62 and won as an individual at the Amer Ari Invitational in Hawaii on Feb. 8. Three days later, Carolina also shot a 10-under 62 in the final round to capture the UCF Challenge in Orlando.
The matching 62s made both moments all the more special for Eugenio and Carolina, but were their back-to-back wins really a complete coincidence? It turns out that the young Spaniards have put a bit of that sibling magic into practice before.
“Every time one of us wins it pushes us when we have another tournament, and we try to emulate each other,” said Eugenio. “When I won the Campeonato de España 18-and-under division in 2018, two weeks later Carolina won the Campeonato de España 16-and-under. We have success when we see the other win.”
Lesson: A little sibling rivalry never hurts. Eugenio and Carolina grew up playing together almost every day at their home course, Golf La Moraleja. They share the same swing coach, mental coach and strength trainer. The siblings often play from the same tees, pushing Carolina with the added distance.
“When we go to the course, we’re playing for something, whether it’s having to clean the clubs or drive the car home,” Eugenio said. “We like putting some pressure on the line.”
Although Eugenio and Carolina’s first collegiate wins came only three days apart, their paths to victory looked quite different. Carolina’s 62 at Eagle Creek Golf Club was spread over two days. The forecast for inclement weather forced the teams at the UCF Challenge to follow their second round by squeezing as much of their third round in as possible. By the end of the painstakingly long day, the 18-year-old had played all but four holes and was eight under for her third round.
“I started making everything,” Carolina said. “It was weird to not know when we were going to finish. My goal for the last four holes the next day was to enjoy it, because I was shooting my personal best score. Before it was seven under.”
Finishing her final four holes in two under, Carolina led the Demon Deacons to a team victory and won the tournament by four shots as an individual. Her 19-under finish set the Wake Forest record for lowest 54-hole score in relation to par and tied the second-lowest in NCAA history.
Eugenio’s win shattered records as well. His 62 broke Hapuna Golf Course’s course record, which was previously recorded at the 2005 Waikoloa Intercollegiate. After taking medalist honors, then following it up with a recent T-3 finish at the Gator Invitational, Eugenio moved to the No. 3 spot in the PGA Tour University Velocity Global Rankings. The top five players at the end of the 2021-22 college season will earn exempt status on the Korn Ferry Tour.
Eugenio’s victory marked a turning point in his game, particularly on the greens. After struggling with his putting for several years, the 21-year-old found hope for his stroke after speaking to PGA Tour pro and former NCAA champion Aaron Wise while competing at Mayakoba Classic last fall (Chacarra played via a sponsor’s exemption). In hearing Wise explain why he had switched to “broomstick” putting, which involves an extra-long putter and a separated grip, Eugenio immediately related to his story. After missing the cut by two shots with only one missed green at the Mayakoba, Eugenio knew that he wanted to give the unconventional method a try.
“Finally, I really enjoy putting now,” Eugenio said. “When I get to the greens, I feel like I can make every single putt.”
The not-so-coincidental breakthrough wins for the Chacarra siblings could be the first of many. Eugenio and Carolina came to the U.S. with long-term goals in mind: making it to the PGA and LPGA Tours. Rising in various rankings and racking up wins are important, but the siblings are always looking to mature as players from their amateur golf experiences. With Carolina teeing it up at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur in early April and Eugenio eyeing a national championship run with the Cowboys as he wraps up his college career this spring, the pair are assuredly on the right track.
“Our main goal isn’t just to win today or tomorrow,” Eugenio said. “It’s to be out there for a long time, get on tour, and keep growing.”