Duke Fans React to Jenny C's Success
Posted July 6, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT
DURHAM — A lot of Jenny Chuasiriporn's friends were watching her Women's U.S. Open playoff in Durham. WRAL'sBob Hollidaywitnessed the reaction.
Golf clubs were idle Monday at Duke University. Dozens of men sat inside the clubhouse packed around a television set watching women's golf.
Jenny Chuasiriporn, the beloved star of the Duke women's golf team, tried to become the first amateur in 31 years to win the U.S. Women's Open. As Jenny matched LPGA champ Se Ri Pak shot for shot, the tension built. But the mood in the room brightened as Jenny buries a par putt on 17, while on the next hole, her opponent hit her tee shot in a hazard. Pak, standing in the water, calmly hit the save of the day.
Grown men crossed their fingers and young ones chewed on their nails, as the playoff moved into sudden death. On the 92nd hole of the U.S. Open, Se Ri Pak silenced the crowd at Duke. Pak's birdie putt made her the Open champion, but Jenny won over thousands of fans, not necessarily all in the clubhouse room.
"It's just amazing for me to continually watch her and see how good of a person she is all the time out there," said Jim Donnely, a Duke golfer. "She's all smiles. But people should remember than even though she's all smiles, the reason she got here is because she's got a fire in her."
"We're all incredibly proud of her here," explained Duke club pro Ed Ibarguen. "She had a lot of support here. You saw 40 people cram into this room."
At Duke, they're eager for Jenny's return this fall, when they cheer a certain senior psychology major and the way she plays the game of golf.