The Jutanugarn's. The Korda’s. The Coleman’s. The Sanz Barrio’s.
The odds of raising one professional are quite small, but how about two?
Patricia Sanz Barrio, 26, and Marta Sanz Barrio, 24, of Spain are both competing in this week’s Decatur-Forsyth Classic. Patricia tees at 7:30 a.m. Friday while Marta tees at 9:20 a.m. The sisters are in the their first full seasons competing on the Symetra Tour. Patricia ranks 99th on the Volvik Race for the Card money list while Marta ranks 119th.
When Patricia was seven and Marta was five, their dad, Carmelo, brought them to a golf course because he wanted to start playing golf. The rest is history as they say.
“We just hung around while he was taking lessons,” said Marta. “We just picked it up, but he (dad) was bad."
Although they are two of three Spaniards in the field (Harang Lee is the third), they said golf is popular in Spain. Patricia estimated that there are 35 courses in Madrid alone.
Patricia first made her way to the United States in 2008 when she was recruited to play college golf at Auburn. She was ranked first in the Madrid Girls’ ranking in 2007-08 and was fourth in the Spanish Girls’ rankings. Patricia spent the first two years at Auburn without little sister.
“The beginning (of college) was pretty hard,” said Patricia. “We could speak English, but it wasn’t our fluent language (Spanish) and then I’m going to classes and my schedule is so packed and I didn’t know what to do. In the end, it was a great experience, we both loved it."
As you can imagine, It was a pretty easy recruiting pitch once Marta was ready for college.
“It was a lot easier to have her (Patricia) already there,” said Marta, who was just 17 when she came over. “I would just call her up and say ‘where am I going?’ when I would get lost as a freshman.”
Both had success at Auburn. Patricia was a 2012 All SEC First-Team performer while Marta was a 2013 WGCA Honorable Mention All-American.
The sisters started their pro careers on the Ladies European Tour (LET), but decided this year to give the U.S. Tour a shot together.
“It is pretty hard to be away for such a long time and it is pretty nice to have family with you,” said Patricia. “It feels like you’re not really that far away. We each have someone that is genuinely rooting for us.”
Like most sisters, they want the best for each other, but are also competitive.
“I think we make each other better because we are both pretty competitive at everything,” said Patricia. “That has really helped us both.”
“I do want to beat her,” Marta responded quickly. “But I really think we do help each other with course management. We practice together and try to compete on the practice putting green and chipping green to try and keep it fun.”
There is also the financial aspect of being able to share everything.
When asked what they miss most about Madrid, the duo responded “food”.
“They just don’t do food here like they do in Madrid,” said Patricia. “Not even close.”
The first thing they seek out when returning to Spain is a homemade meal from mom, Marina, or their grandmother.
“It’s a lot of Mediterranean food,” said Marta. “Everything is grilled and there is always lots of vegetables. It’s also very healthy.”
“Tapas are big too,” said Marta.
Only time will tell if the Sanz Barrio’s are able to continue their journey together to the LPGA.