My Shot My sister, Naree, and I aren't robots. We're a couple of 14-year-olds who love to play golf

October 01, 2000

Last Saturday morning I was tied for the lead at the Safeway
LPGA Championship and paired in the final group with Dottie
Pepper. Although I'm only 14, leading was no big deal. I've
played in three LPGA tournaments. Last March at the Nabisco
Championship, I was paired with Dottie in Sunday's final group.

My twin sister and I, along with our brother, Chan--he's 17 and
recently committed to play at Georgia Tech--attend the David
Leadbetter Academy in Bradenton, Fla. We spend half the day in
school and half on the course. Many people think we're robots who
do nothing but eat, sleep and drink golf. Well, we do play lots
of golf, but we're not programmed to do only one thing. In fact
if I hadn't played so well in Portland, I would have spent the
weekend hanging out at the mall, like many of my 10th-grade
classmates.

Some of my friends love baseball and tennis, and they play those
sports all day. Chan, Naree and I are just like them, only we're
nuts about golf. We love to play, to follow the tours and to read
about the game's history. Sometimes, instead of practicing, I go
to the beach or fish for bass in the lake behind our house (as
long as Naree takes the slimy things off the hook). More often
than not, though, I practice golf because I enjoy the rewards,
like traveling around the country to tournaments, which are a
blast.

The best part of golf is that I get to spend time with my best
friend--Naree. She's my biggest competitor, but I root for her
more than I root for myself. Last week when she missed the cut by
a shot, I felt sad. For a while, I even forgot I was tied for the
lead.

Reporters often ask, When are you turning pro? That's a silly
question. Being the top two players on the LPGA is our dream,
but people forget that we're only 14 and want to have fun. For
us, that means shopping, fishing, hanging out and playing lots
of golf.

Aree Wongluekiet finished 13th at the Safeway LPGA Championship.

COLOR PHOTO: JIM GUND
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)