KOHLER, Wis. – Whatever happened to Jenny Chuasiriporn?
After losing a Monday playoff as a 20-year-old amateur the last time the U.S. Women’s Open was played at Blackwolf Run in 1998, Chuasiriporn returned to Duke. Her playoff loss to Se Ri Pak and a subsequent NCAA team title would be the final highlights of her golf career, which never blossomed the way so many expected it would.
Chuasiriporn is now a nurse in the cardiac surgery intensive care unit at VCU Health System Hospital in Richmond, Va. She told Gary D’Amato of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that she hasn’t played a round of golf in five years.
After turning pro, she struggled a couple of years, then gave up the game and eventually enrolled in nursing school.
“I did not enjoy playing golf professionally as much as I thought I would,” Chuasiriporn wrote in an email to the Journal Sentinel. “Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the opportunity to play, to meet incredible people and make some lifetime friendships. But I felt I was going through the motions a lot. I can honestly say I fell out of love with the game.
“But I am so happy with the way golf ended for me. If it wasn’t for the tough, humbling moments of playing poorly, I would not be where I am today. I hung into the game for a little while, teaching, coaching and running a girls’ golf development program in Baltimore. But the day I left for good, I knew there was no looking back. I have so much respect for those playing because you have to put your heart and soul into it, and if you don’t, you have no chance of making it. I wasn’t willing to do that. I didn’t enjoy playing golf every day. I wanted to do other things.”
Chuasiriporn declined invitations from the U.S. Golf Association and the Kohler Co. to attend this week’s U.S. Women’s Open.