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Great Girl Golfers

14 year-old Aree Wongluekiet has finished in the top ten at an LPGA tournament.
Aree Wongluekiet

Morgan Pressel is the latest young golfer to challenge the older folks on the professional golf tour. 12 year-old Morgan became one of the youngest golfers to ever qualify for the US Women's Open after shooting two-under par at a qualifying tournament in Palm Beach, Florida.

Morgan follows the footsteps of Aree and Naree Wongluekiet - the 14 year-old identical twins who qualified for the LPGA Tour in 2000 and 16 year-old Ty Tryon who qualifed for the men's tour earlier in 2001. Morgan can really smoke the ball. Her average drive is nearly 230 yards which is more than a lot of the women golfers playing on the pro-tour. "Sitting there, shaking over my driver on the first tee, it was like 'Yikes!'" said Morgan after qualifying for the US Open on May 13th, 2001. Morgan will be teeing off at the US Open on May 31st, 2001. You can catch her in action on ESPN and NBC.

Are Kids Playing Pro Sports Too Young?
It's great to see young golfers doing so well against the pros - as long as they're having fun. Many young athletes are pushed too hard by their parents or coaches and that means these kids stop having fun or get burned out. Just ask Beverly Klass, who qualified for the US Open in 1967 when she was just 10 years old.

"Like so many child prodigies, I had no balance in my life and no grip on my identity. I knew Beverly the golfer but not Beverly the person. Mommy and Daddy loved me when I performed well, but when I did poorly, Daddy didn't like me, to the point of yelling abusively on the course and whipping me with a belt until my back bled." Beverly was the youngest female to ever play on the LPGA tour.

Obviously, Beverly was being pushed way too much when she was a kid and wasn't exactly having a blast playing golf. To become a pro-athlete, you need to play hard and practice hard. Just make sure you're always having fun.

What do you think? Are kids playing pro-sports too young? what you think of young superstars.

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