Katherine Hull and Lindsey Wright are sisters in spirit.
Theyre Australian golfs version of Brady Bunch sisters.
That would be Hull in the role of Marcia Brady, Wright in the role of Jan Brady.
As teammates at Pepperdine University for three-and-a-half seasons, the Aussie duo competed intensely to be the teams No. 1 player.
Guess who was No. 1 their senior season and named the NCAA Player of the Year in 2003?
Marcia, Marcia, Marcia.
So here we are after two rounds of the McDonalds LPGA Championship, and everythings unfolding nicely for a possible LPGA breakthrough for Wright. Her 4-under-par 68 Friday equaled the days low round. It catapulted her into a tie for third, just two shots off the lead in a bid to make her first LPGA victory a major championship triumph.
With a fourth-place at the Kraft Nabisco in the seasons first major, and last months tie for third at the Michelob Ultra Open in a test that felt major championship caliber, Wrights game seems strongly positioned to deliver something big.
But look whos on the leaderboard right there with her?
Marcia, Marcia, Marcia.
Hulls 69 Friday moved her into a tie for third with Wright.
Guess whos paired together in Saturdays third round?
Yeah, Marcia and Jan Brady.
Hull was asked if seeing Wright on the leaderboard made her think:
A) Cool, my old teammate.
B) Cool, I get to kick Lindseys behind.
Both, Hull said. We had a healthy rivalry in the three-and-a-half years there. I think we both pushed each other. We are both pretty competitive and made each other better players. We had a great team our senior year.
With the Aussie duo leading the way, Pepperdine gained the No. 1 ranking in womens golf for the first time in school history.
We had some good times and some tough times, Wright said. But it was great. We pushed each other and the team as well. Were friends, and being Aussies away from home, we leaned on each other.
Hull, 27, broke through to win her first LPGA event at the Canadian Womens Open last year. Shes ranked No. 11 in Rolex Womens World Golf Rankings, the second highest ranked Australian woman in the world behind No. 10 Karrie Webb. Surpassing Webb in the rankings would be a big deal Down Under, where Aussie women grew up idolizing Webb and her Hall of Fame career.
Wright, 29, has a career best third-place finish in LPGA events. Shes the third highest ranked Australian woman in the world at No. 29. Wright, who was born in England and became an Australian citizen after moving there as a young child, may be chasing Hull still, but shes a respected talent pushing for more.
Asked if she feels a rivalry with Hull, Wright shakes her head.
Not really, not for me, because now Ive got 144, 143 other Katherine Hulls I play against, Wright said. Im just playing against the golf course and myself.
Its really exciting, though, to see Katherine playing well, and, to an extent, its encouraging for me. Being an Aussie, its good to see.
Colombias Carolina Llano, who missed the cut Friday, was a freshman at Pepperdine when Hull and Wright were seniors. She said they both took her under their wings, but in different manners.
Katherine and Lindsey were very different personalities, but they were both very good people, Llano said. Katherine was more the mom-type, steering me, helping me pick classes, wanting to know what I was doing. Lindsey was more reserved. You had to go to her, but when she let you in, she was a great. She helped me with my English. They were both very good teammates and it was sad to see them leave.
If Hull and Wright end up turning Sunday into an Aussie duel to win the McDonalds LPGA, it will ignite new interest in their careers Down Under.
Womens golf in Australia is not overly popular, Hull said. We dont get a lot of publicity. For a country that does so well in other sports, I think its actually a little disappointing that we dont have more top female golfers. Obviously, Karrie had done a lot for the sport back home, and Jan Stephenson, but I think we certainly need a few other players to step up now and raise the profile back home.
The Brady sisters are poised to do that.