Taylor Ramsey and Ashlan Ramsey were not speaking.
The sisters had traded leads the first two days of the American Junior Golf Association event in Braselton, Ga., in April and came down the back nine of the final round with the title in the balance.
Each was looking for her first win on the tour. Each faced a dilemma in the silence they shared the final 18 holes.
Their competitive sides wanted the victory. Their love for each other pushed them to wish the other would win.
Couldn't they just tie?
Ashlan edged out her sister by a shot, and Taylor cried -- happy for her sister's win but also coping with the loss.
"When I was younger, we were playing against each other in a tournament, and I was thinking, 'Should I screw up just to let her win?' " said Taylor, who at 14 is a year older than Ashlan. "Because I could tell she was crying and messing up, and I did not want her to feel that way."
The Ramseys, who caught fire after they began playing competitively a few years ago, will have another shot to go head-to-head when they compete at the AJGA's Charles Howell III Junior Championship this week at West Lake Country Club.
Taylor and Ashlan believe they have at least some advantage, having played the West Lake course nearly every day they've been in town since they began playing the game more than five years ago.
Both were home-schooled for a time after they became serious about their golf games. The format allowed them to be on the golf course by 11 a.m., and they would play until dark.
Both re-enrolled in traditional schools last year -- Taylor at Augusta Christian and Ashlan at Stallings Island Middle School. Ashlan's online classes during home-school allowed her to advance a year, so that she and her sister are now one grade apart. Both plan to attend Greenbrier High next year.
But while public school will offer more interaction with friends, Ashlan says the sisters' social lives won't improve much outside golf.
Seven hours of school, golf course, dinner, homework, bed -- "That's our schedule," Ashlan said. "There's no hanging out with friends, not really sleepovers unless we don't have a tournament for a while. We know that we can't do that. It's not like we ask and get disappointed every time. We know that's not an option."
The schedule is the sisters' choice.
The girls picked up the game by watching their father, Al Ramsey, hit balls on the driving range near their home at Reynolds Plantation.
About a year after moving to Jones Creek, Al Ramsey said his daughters asked when they could play golf again. "They both always wanted to be at the golf course all the time and spend time there," Ramsey said. "We let them try all the other sports, and they kind of gravitated back to golf."
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