If your name is Jutanugarn, Ree, Lee, Vu, Iida, or Taylor, and you found yourself at the Winn Grips Heather Farr Classic hosted by Longbow Golf Club this week, then there’s a pretty good chance you weren’t alone. It seemed that this was THE place for golfing families to be over Easter Weekend.
The Jutanugarn sisters – Moriya and Ariya (pictured below) – experienced the most visible success, with their one-two finish in the Girls Division. Moriya, a sophomore in Bangkok, Thailand, is older by 16 months, and while both players are ranked in the top 15 of the Polo Golf Rankings, Moriya became the first to win an AJGA tournament with her two-shot victory over Ariya.
The “Ree Three” – Ryann, Lawrence and Robynn – posted the largest quantity of success at Longbow Golf Club, as the three siblings from Redondo Beach, Calif., each made the 36-hole cut. Ryann, class of 2012, placed T12 and Lawrence, class of 2013, finished T23 in the Boys Division, while Robynn, class of 2015, tied for 17th among the girls.
Esther and John Lee of Los Alamitos, Calif., posted a pair of good finishes with Esther, a sophomore, placing T9 and John, a junior, placing 22nd.
Lilia and Andre Vu of Fountain Valley, Calif., found mixed results as sophomore Andre missed the cut by one shot, while Lilia placed T12.
Two players – Eric Taylor and Saki Iida – were securely in the field through the AJGA’s Performance Based Entry process, while their siblings successfully qualified Wednesday via the Taylor Made-adidas Golf Qualifier.
Eric, from San Juan Capistrano, Calif., was joined by his twin brother Owen, who had fallen just short in a qualifier playoff, but earned the last tournament spot as an alternate. In a turn of events, it was Owen who made the cut and finished T35 while Eric missed. The twin brothers will enter college together this fall as they enroll at California State University-Sacramento.
In a similar story, Ken Iida of Gilbert, Ariz., was the co-medalist at Wednesday’s Taylor Made-adidas Golf Qualifier, joining his sister Saki in the field. While Saki missed the Girls Division cut, Ken tied for 31st among the boys.
The family affair goes on and on, as many more players in the field have brothers or sisters who formerly played in the AJGA, while others have younger siblings who attempted to qualify this week, but just missed out. It all just goes to show the unique opportunity golf provides for families to be together.