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Duque sisters eye pro careers

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF Adrian Flores SISTERS Laurea (left) and Lia Duque vow to put in the work to make it to the pros someday.

Sisters Laurea and Lia Duque both want to pursue professional careers in the near future.

The 19-year-old Laurea hopes to break into the Thailand LPGA Tour next year. The 15-year-old Lia has that on her sights but not after playing collegiate golf in the United States.

“As a golfer the biggest challenge for me is being able to play with no expectations and trust that you put in enough work to just play,” Laurea told the Daily Tribune’s Golf Plus.

Already she has a string of victories under her belt. That includes overall championships in the 93rd San Francisco Juniors, Presidio Local Tour, Redwood Canyon Juniors, Mountain View Juniors and Reserve Juniors.

The younger Duque was runner-up in San Francisco and Presidio, and third in Redwood.

“We are both very competitive and like to compete against each other even during practice. I think the rivalry helps us improve because we are always pushing each other to do better,” Lia said.

“As of now Laurea is the better golfer. She’s more experienced and has accomplished a lot. Although I don’t think I’m very far.”

Indeed. They are both very promising that no less than San Miguel Corporation and its newest affiliate, Ferrari Velocita, are funding their campaigns.

Lia is currently competing in the National Golf Association of the Philippines’ Beverly Place Open.

Laurea used to share coaches with Thai golf superstar Atthaya Thitikul whom she admired. “She’s not very tall, but she hits it long,” she said.

She started at age 9 when their grandparents brought them to a driving range.

“I realized I was good at golf when I was out into the training pool at 13 and got to play with the top amateurs at that time,” Laurea said.

“My most memorable experience is being able to play for the national team and represent our country in events outside the Philippines.”

Lia started way earlier at four years old, having followed the footsteps of her elder sister.

“I never realized I was good at it but I did realize that I really loved playing golf and wanted to pursue it when I was 12 years old,” Lia said.

“I think my most memorable experience so far was watching the US Women’s Open in Pebble Beach last July. It was really inspiring seeing all of them play.”

Lia looks up to major champ Nelly Korda, who happens to be the younger sister of Jessica of the famed Korda golfing sisters.

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