11 yr-old goes toe-to-toe with biggies

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/a/ariyajutanukarn.jpg' class='caption'> The youngest kid to hit the block is Ariya Jutanukarn from Thailand.

Updated: October 28, 2007 07:57 IST
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Remember the time when 16-year-old Sachin Tendulkar was matching his wits with Imran Khan who was more than twice his age?

Well, something not too different is happening in golf now. The youngest kid to hit the block is Ariya Jutanukarn from Thailand.

At 11 years, she is the youngest golfer to compete in an event at the Ladies Professional Golfers Association.

What's more she is four years ahead of her target. "My aim was to enter the LPGA at the age of 15 or 16 but I have a chance to enter the LPGA now. So I hope to gain more experience," she says.

While other golfers may have landed lucrative contacts by playing in big tournaments, Ariya's reward for reaching her first LPGA Tour event was a hot chocolate fudge.

Incidentally she took up the sport as a five-year-old. And thanks to a little help from her 13 year-old sister cum caddy, Ariya would be looking to go toe-to-toe with the likes of her idol Annika Sorenstam.

But while Annika's 10 majors remain a dream for the Thai girl, her near perfect swing has certainly become a reality.

So whether she becomes the Tiger Woods of women's golf or Wayne Rooney of English football, one thing is for sure - Ariya has taken the phrase 'catch them young' to another level altogether.

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