Golf fits Chuasiriporn siblings to a tee Brother, sister a twosome on greens

July 21, 1993|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,Staff Writer

When Jenny Chuasiriporn won her third straight Bobby Bowers Memorial Junior golf title last week, she had a familiar caddy -- her brother Joey.

"It definitely helps me play better to have him there," said Jenny, 16, who won the final match 2 and 1 Thursday at the 19th annual Bowers tournament in Springfield, Va.

"You always like to have someone who knows how you play," said Joey, who became available to caddy after losing his second match of the tournament on the final hole.

Jenny and Joey, who turns 17 next week, probably spend more time together than most teen-age siblings -- much of it on the Hunt Valley Golf Club course where they are members. Fixtures on the local junior golf scene since their father Paul Chuasiriporn guided them into the sport about nine years ago, they have played tournaments ever since.

This summer, their schedule is packed, but they would rather play golf than anything else.

"Our parents are probably more obsessive about golf than we are," said Jenny with a laugh. "But we enjoy it every time we go out there. If we didn't, I don't think we would do it."

Paul and Edy Chuasiriporn play as often as they can, but they spend most of their time running the family restaurant, The Bangkok Place in Govans. Even brother Jimmy, 5, has two tournaments on his summer agenda.

Over the years, Jenny, a junior at Notre Dame Prep, has had some impressive victories, including her unprecedented string of Bowers titles as well as six straight Jimmy Flattery Junior championships beginning when she was 8.

"Jenny is a premier player," said Ted Sheftic, pro at Hanover Country Club in Abbottstown, Pa., who has worked with Jenny and Joey for two years. "Right now, she's playing like a 20-year-old. She has the golf swing of a tour player in many areas."

Sheftic, who coaches several LPGA players, said Jenny could have a future as a touring pro. "She's a marvelous athlete. She can go out and hit the ball poorly and still shoot a low score. That's something a pro can't teach. I look for her to have a fantastic career."

Although he doesn't have as many wins, Joey also has a strong game. In four national tournaments this summer, he has finished as high as fourth.

However, the Loyola High senior counts as his greatest accomplishment winning the Maryland Scholastic Association individual championship this spring. He won the title by a stroke with a final-round 74 for a three-round total of 226 at the Pine Ridge Golf Course.

"As Joey gets older, the competition gets much more fierce between the boys," said Sheftic. "But Joey is a very heady player, and he knows how to score, and again, that's something you can't teach. They have to have that within them."

Under Sheftic's guidance, Jenny and Joey have improved every aspect of their games. From straightening out their swings to working on their short games, they even work on drills at home to hone their skills.

Although they would be thrilled to play on the pro tours someday, Jenny and Joey remain realistic about their chances.

"My goal is to play Division I golf and to stay as competitive as I can. A scholarship would be real nice, too," said Joey, who is considering studying engineering.

Sheftic has no doubt Jenny and Joey can achieve those goals. "They can write their own tickets to college," he said.

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