The ASU women’s golf team had just two players in fall 2010. Many former ASU golfers turned professional that fall and senior Giulia Molinaro is the only Sun Devil remaining from that time period.
Molinaro is ranked as the No. 4 female collegiate golfer in the country according to Golfweek, which uses a Jeff Sagarin computer algorithm to compile rankings.
Molinaro has blossomed in her final season with ASU and averages a 72 per round, nearly three strokes better than her previous season.
The State Press had a chance to sit down with the star golfer to discuss the fall of 2010 and the road ahead of her.
The State Press: Travel back to 2010 when there were just two players on the team. What was it like having to play as an individual in tournaments that fall?
Giulia Molinaro: It was difficult because we came from such a strong team. It was just difficult as an individual, but golf is an individual sport. It was just a different team atmosphere.
SP: Did you guys still have regular practice?
GM: We had regular practice. Everything was normal, except there were two of us.
SP: There was you, the two coaches, and teammate Carlota Ciganda on the entire team. Did practice feel like one-on-one private lessons?
GM: Yeah, you could say that. We obviously had more attention from (the coaches). In a way, it was beneficial, but the whole team atmosphere thing was a bit hard.
SP: What was your reaction to seeing a lot of your teammates turn professional?
GM: I was happy for them. Happy for them (because) it’s a good thing, and I’ll be turning professional at the end of this year. They thought it was the right time to do it, and they went with what they felt.
SP: Did you ever think about turning professional when they did?
GM: No, I wanted to graduate and to get my degree. I think everything has (its) time, and I’m happy I’ll turn (professional) when I graduate.
SP: With all the players turning pro, ASU had a lot of new players come in the following spring. Did you take a leadership role and guide them?
GM: There were many of them, so they helped each other. If they had a question, I was there for them and had no problem helping them. Maybe I was a bit of a leader, but not much.
SP: This year, you have improved your game significantly, having an average round of 72. What has been the difference between this year and previous ones?
GM: Many people ask me that. I honestly have no idea. My game has not changed. My practice habits haven’t changed. I guess it’s just mental — my mentality, the way I approach the game and the way I approach a tournament.
SP: You said earlier that you are turning pro at the end of the year. Are you planning on playing in the LPGA?
GM: I’m going to try to qualify for the LPGA and European Tour.
SP: What is your favorite moment as a Sun Devil?
GM: We had a trip to Japan (in 2009) and it was a blast. It was amazing. It was so much fun to see a different place and a different culture.
Reach the reporter at email@example.com