Forget the Williams sisters. Women’s sport has a new sibling success story with golfing sisters Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn from Thailand on fire this season.
In May, Ariya recorded three straight wins at the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic, Kingsmill Championship presented by JTBC and LPGA Volvik Championship. She was also third at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in June and tied second at the Marathon Classic presented by Owens Corning and O-I in July.
Moriya has racked up two fourth places, at the LOTTE Championship Presented by HERSHEY in April and Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G in June, among seven top 10 finishes in four seasons.
Ariya, 20, from Bangkok, continued that excellent run of form with an opening round of 65 in the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Woburn on Thursday, while Moriya opened with a 70 on her 22nd birthday.
Moriya says that playing for dinner fuels their competitive rivalry. “Pretty much every practice round we play for something, like the other one has to pay for dinner,” she said. “It’s so much fun spending time with my sister and we always have a good time: travelling, practising, eating, hanging out. The last two years have been fun after we got back together again, like how we were before when we always used to travel together in junior golf.”
Ariya, who first played in a women’s professional golf event at the 2007 Honda LPGA Thailand at 11 years, 11 months and two days, first competed on the Ladies European Tour at the 2008 Finnair Masters as a 12-year-old along with her sister, Moriya, who is 16 months her senior.
After winning the LET’s Lalla Aicha Tour School, Ariya made a fast start to her professional career when she tied for second at the 2013 Volvik RACV Ladies Masters and then won the Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco as a 17-year-old rookie. After time out through injury, she returned to action on the LPGA in 2015, but 2016 is proving to be her year.