Jan. 13, 2012
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IOWA CITY, Iowa – – University of Iowa junior Gigi DiGrazia made strides in her golf game under first year head coach Megan Menzel, as she cut per round average by three strokes. DiGrazia went from an 82.2 average during the 2010-11 campaign to a 79.0 average in the fall. The Addison, Ill., native recently met up with hawkeyesports.com to discuss her improvement and spring expectations.
You lowered your average by three strokes from a season ago. What have you improved on the most?
“I improved a lot on my short game. I’ve always had a pretty solid short game, but I felt I could always get better. It seemed like I have made a lot more putts this year.”
You finished a career-best 11th after shooting a 230 at the Chip-N Club Invitational. What was the key for you that tournament?
“The key for that tournament for me was playing relaxed. It was our first tournament of the year. I was pretty confident in what I had. I played relaxed and didn’t really let the mental side get to me. I let my game play out.”
What are your goals for the spring season?
“I would like to contend a little bit more in some of the tournaments. I feel like I’ve played decent golf but not up to my potential. I want to work hard during the offseason and contend to win a few tournaments in the spring.”
What impresses you the most about coach Menzel? What was your first impression when you met her?
“What I’m most impressed with is her demeanor. I’ve never met a person that is so positive, really loves the game of golf and is easy to be around every day. That’s hard sometimes to say that. Sometimes you don’t want to go to practice every day, but it’s nice when you have someone there with a smile and who’s dedicated to what they do. When I first met her it was in her office, and I knew that I was going to like her because she was really warm and easy to talk to. Just from the first hello she was very welcoming.”
What has been the best thing about being a student-athlete at Iowa?
“The atmosphere here. Everybody is so nice from the coaches, to the administration, to the weight room people. Everybody’s here for the same goal, and I feel really comfortable here.”
What do you think the next step is for the Iowa program?
“It’s definitely looking up. We have a lot of talent. We did decent in the fall and nobody has really played that great so we have a lot of potential. I’m looking forward to seeing some of us peak at the right times and putting some good numbers up together.”
What is your best golf memory at Iowa?
“It was probably when we shot really well as a team in New Mexico. We broke one of the school records and everyone was under 75. It was fun to be part of that. We were the only team that day to break 300 because it was tough conditions. That was exciting.”
The team gets to travel to Texas, Arizona and Hawaii this spring. How excited are you to get the opportunity to travel?
“I can’t wait to get out of Iowa. It will be fun to play in those places. We have a great spring schedule. It’s exciting.”
All of your tournaments are away from Iowa City, what do you do to keep yourself entertained during road trips?
“I like to talk so it’s fun when we’re on road trips. Music, if you put on a song I don’t mind singing the whole time. We have a good time as team. That’s the one good thing about this team. We have a great team and have a lot of good cohesion. It’s fun to be around. Sometimes those road trips feel like an hour when it’s really seven because we have a good time together. It keeps it fun.”
If you could play a round of golf with anyone, who would it be? Why?
“I’d definitely like to play with Tiger, it would be cool. He’s so good, and it would just be really cool to watch him play. You get to watch them play on television or even live at a tournament but to actually play right next to him would be pretty cool.”
If you could give one golf tip, what would it be?
“I would say from my own experience that you have to play and don’t let the mental side get to you. Golf is a game and if you relax, your swing will do a lot better things than you think it will.”
What do you do in your spare time off the golf course?
“During school I study. The whole pre-med thing kind of takes over most of my time. Over break I’ll probably do a lot of sleeping and catching up with people.”