The 2015 season is said and done and believe it or not the 2016 LPGA season starts in six weeks so we thought it would be a great time to catch up with some of our ’15 Volvik Race for the Card graduates. We start with Giulia Molinaro, who finished 2nd, and Brianna Do, who finished third. Molinaro had full status on the LPGA in 2014 while Do had partial status so the big Tour is not unfamiliar to either. It would seem that both had their best seasons to date in 2015 with Molinaro racking up nine top 10 results and Do closing with back-to-back second place finishes to crash the top 10 party.
Now, both have razor sharp focus on playing as well on the LPGA as they did on the Symetra Tour. It’s also interesting to note that their best finishes on the LPGA came at the same event, the 2014 Meijer LPGA Classic. Molinaro finished T23 and Do T29.
Symetratour.com: How is the off season going? What areas are you focusing on in your practice/preparation for 2016?
Giulia: The off season is going very well, I am truly enjoying my time off at home with family. I am focusing on my strength training.
Brianna: It is a little different because I have such a long off season this year; or at least it feels like it because I didn't have to get ready for final stage. The areas of my game that I am focusing on in my practice and preparation for next year are my long irons because they will be used more than this season on the Symetra Tour. I am also working on a lot of my fitness off the golf course with my trainer.
Symetratour.com: Describe one drill that you’ve been doing a lot this off season (maybe more than other off seasons)
Giulia: Working on keeping my head back through impact in my swing.
Brianna: One drill that I have been doing a lot of this off season is to take a divot with my driver so I can level out my driver swing and get a lower ball flight. (I am not actually taking divots but just the feeling of it!)
Symetratour.com: Have you done anything fun this off season (hobbies, travel, etc.)?
Giulia: I was in Italy for two weeks and now I am in Kenya enjoying the amazing weather and working on my tan while at the pool and kitesurfing :)
Brianna: I took a trip up to San Francisco with my boyfriend and we played some golf and did touristy things like see the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and drive down Lombard St. We drove down PCH from San Francisco back to LA and stopped to check out the sites and scenes along the way down south. Definitely recommend to anyone who hasn't done it! Other than that just working on my game, hitting the gym hard, and spending time with the family during the holidays.
Symetratour.com: Now that you’ve had time to think about playing the LPGA in 2016, what excites you the most and what do you think will be most challenging?
Giulia: What excites me the most is the fact that I get to test myself again against the best in the world and to play on a bigger stage. What will be the most challenging will be to play with the same freedom and peace on the LPGA that I had this year on the Symetra Tour.
Brianna: I am most excited to travel and play new courses on the LPGA next year as well as be able to explore the cities we will be in! I think the most challenging part of next year will be managing my time because the week is much shorter having four day events instead of three day events on the Symetra Tour.
Symetratour.com: What is one part of your game that needs to take a step up to compete/win on the LPGA?
Giulia: My mental strength and my putting as you can't ever be too good at putting :)
Brianna: The one part of my game that needs to take a step up to compete/win on the LPGA next year is my putting. On the LPGA we are playing at the highest level and it really comes down to who makes more putts when it counts.
Symetratour.com: Is there a particular tournament that you are most looking forward to playing in 2016? Why?
Giulia: I obviously love the Founders Cup in Phoenix as it’s where I live but other then that I can't wait to go back to San Francisco as I think it's the best tournament of the year.
Brianna: I am most looking forward to playing in the KIA Classic down in San Diego because that will be the closest event where my friends and family will be able to come out and watch me play. A lot of my friends and family have not been able to watch me play in a tournament since college golf!
Symetratour.com: Have you reached out to any players (or others) for advice heading into the year?
Giulia: Not yet.. I am still on vacation!
Brianna: I have a few friends I have grown up with that have played or are playing on the LPGA and I have talked to them about travel and what is the best way to travel to the first few events, etc.
Symetratour.com: My goal on the LPGA in 2016 is to ____________?
Giulia: Qualify for the Olympics and for the Asian swing at the end of the year.
Brianna: My goal on the LPGA in 2016 is to "crush it" (Matt Hass voice) haha.