IOA Golf Classic
Alaqua Country Club
October 7, 2015
Wednesday Pre-Tournament Notes
LONGWOOD, Fla., October 7, 2015 - The Epson Tour, Road to the LPGA, is two days from the start of the IOA Golf Classic at Alaqua Country Club, from October 9-11. The first pro-am started at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday
Before the sun rose, No. 1 on the Volvik Race for the Card money list Giulia Molinaro, was at the Golf Channel studios in Orlando with LPGA commissioner Mike Whan to talk about a new LPGA event coming to Ann Arbor, Michigan in 2016 and her season on the Epson Tour.
“I’m just looking forward to getting back out there with the best players in world,” said Molinaro, who has a Tour high nine top 10 finishes and has secured her spot in the top 10. “The LPGA is where everyone wants to be and I’m thankful for my second chance to prove myself on the Epson Tour.”
Molinaro also discussed her intriguing background. She was born in Italy and then spent the first 16 years of her life growing up in Kenya. After two years at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, she played college golf at Arizona State.
“I was lucky because my dad had the idea to start me in golf for the social aspect of the game and I started getting pretty good at a young age,” said Molinaro. “Luckily, I was able to get to this point after years of hard work.”
Molinaro graduated through the Epson Tour in 2013, but didn’t fare well on the LPGA Tour in her first go round in 2014. She is excited to give it another run in 2016 with more experience.
“Mentally, I am very different, I know what is out there (LPGA) and what to expect,” said Molinaro. “I’ll try to stay out of my own way and just let my golf do the talking and hopefully it is a good year.”
“We don’t really talk about the LPGA much, we all talked about baseball and television shows last night,” said Richdale. “It’s just nice to stay with him and learn about the commissioner off the course instead of just knowing him as the guy that runs the LPGA.”
Last year, Richdale and Kempter went to watch one of Whan’s kids play baseball. The family also went out to dinner for Kempter’s birthday last year.
Richdale and Kempter are both in striking distance to join Whan’s Tour next year. Richdale ranks 20th on the Volvik Race for the Card money list while Kempter ranks 22nd.
NEW SMYRNA BEACH’S MICHELLE SIMPSON ON BAG: Former Epson Tour professional Michelle Simpson of New Smyrna Beach will caddie this weekend for Cydney Clanton, who ranks 34th on the Volvik Race for the Card money list.
Simpson played on Tour from 2002-2007. She recorded three career top 10 finishes.
Another former Epson Tour professional is a caddie this week. Libby Smith, who recorded six career top 10 finishes from 2005-2010, will caddie for Katie Kempter, who ranks 22nd on the Volvik Race for the Card money list.
7:56 a.m. (tenth tee) - Annika Sorenstam’s sister, Charlotta, who has 23 career top 10’s on the LPGA, will be paired with Su Oh (Melbourne, Australia) and Shena Yang (Tampa, Florida).
8:18 a.m. (tenth tee) - Three Epson Tour winners including current No. 1 Giulia Molinaro (Treviso, Italy) will be paired together. Katie Kempter, who won the 2015 Volvik Championship, and Megan McChrystal, a two-time winner, will join Molinaro.
8:29 a.m. (first tee) - No. 4 on the Volvik Race for the Card money list, Dani Holmqvist (Stockholm, Sweden), will be paired with No. 14 Maude-Aimee Leblanc (Sherbrooke, Canada) and No. 16 Chie Arimura (Kumamoto, Japan).
9:24 a.m. (first tee) - UCF junior Ashley Holder will be paired with Stephanie Kono (Honolulu, Hawaii) and Victoria Elizabeth (Dayton, Ohio), who is in Ann Arbor today to help announce the new LPGA Tour event.