In women's golf, 2000 may go down as the Year of the Twins. Aree and Naree Wongluekiet, the 13-year-olds from Thailand, could steal the show at the Nabisco Championship. In October, Johanna and Samantha Head, a pair of 27-year-olds from Sussex, England, could do the same at the Solheim Cup.
Like Aree and Naree, Johanna and Samantha are identical twins, but there the similarities with the Wongluekiets end. For one, the Heads are professionals. They are also married, outgoing to the point of having their own Web site (headtwins.com) and have an agent, Vicky Cuming of International Management Group, who has lined up endorsement deals with a computer company, a limousine service and a cell-phone company.
The Heads are extremely close. When Jo, who is seven minutes older than Sam, injured her left arm after tripping on volcanic rock at the Italian Open, Sam, who was in England, felt shooting pains in the same limb. Without communicating in advance, they often show up wearing the same outfits. Before they gave up other pursuits to concentrate on golf, both were talented musicians who played classical flute, guitar and piano. Each has stood in for the other on everything from jobs to dates.
Those familiar with the twins' games find it easy to tell them apart, although they do play the same type of clubs. Jo hits the ball from left to right, while Sam works it from right to left, and from the start Jo, longer and a better putter, was the superior player.
They won't have that problem this week in Hawaii. Jo, who earned a conditional card at last year's LPGA Q school, will play in the Takefuji Classic, and Sam will be her caddie. The week got off to a good start when the Heads, who celebrated their birthdays on Monday in Australia, crossed the international date line and had another party 24 hours later after landing in Hawaii. Sam says, "We doubled our pleasure."