Fiorellini: "Augusta, I feel like Tiger Woods"

She mentioned that she would be tackling Augusta's treacherous greens with her deadly irons, which had always been Francesca Fiorellini's winning weapon

by Andrea Gussoni
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Fiorellini: "Augusta, I feel like Tiger Woods"
© Michael Owens/Getty Images Sport

She mentioned that she would be tackling Augusta's treacherous greens with her deadly irons, which had always been Francesca Fiorellini's winning weapon. She noted that the fifth edition of the Augusta National Women's Amateur would take place the following week, from April 3rd to 6th, and she would be the ninth Italian to participate in the most coveted event in amateur women's golf.

She explained that the winner would receive an invitation to the next five editions of the tournament and access to four seasonal majors (US Open, British Open, Chevron Championship, Evian Championship). She added that there would be 72 players on the field (36 Americans, 36 internationals), with three days of competition and a cut after the first two days at the Champions Retreat Golf Club (April 3-4); followed by a day of rest and course practice, after which the top 30 would advance to the final round at Augusta National (April 6).

She emphasized the importance of accuracy with irons due to the small greens on both courses, stating that she was quite precise in these shots, which was an advantage for her.

Francesca Fiorellini, statements

Regarding what made the event so exclusive, she explained that she had been pursuing it for two years and expressed enthusiasm, pride, and immense gratification for the hard work put in.

She considered it an opportunity to compete with the best, mentioning that access to the club and the tournament was by invitation only, making it inaccessible to the entire world. She highlighted the perfection of the course and the resonance of the competition, with live TV coverage and spectators, stating that it was the most-watched women's event globally, surpassing even professional ones.

She mentioned that the scene would be the same a week later for the Masters, adding that she always followed it on television. She recalled the memorable 2019 edition when Tiger Woods won, describing it as an incredible success after many injuries.

She anticipated the experience of arriving at the club, driving down the historic Magnolia Lane, and expressed fascination with the myth of the green jacket worn by the winner. She anticipated feeling the emotion of facing the holes of the Amen Corner and envisioned taking a photo on the iconic Hogan Bridge.

Regarding her companions, she mentioned that she would live the experience with her parents and her coach Enrico Trentin, who would serve as her caddie. She explained that he had seen her grow, mature, and improve not only on the golf course but also in everyday life, knowing her perfectly and knowing how to relate to her in any situation.

She discussed tactics and expectations, mentioning that they had information and stories from girls who had already played, and Enrico had been Carolina Melgrati's caddie the previous year. She noted that both courses were complex, with Champions Retreat being longer, emphasizing the importance of managing the game around and on the firm and very fast greens, which were challenging to read and interpret.

She stated that the goal was to place in the top thirty and advance to the final showdown on the dream course, expressing readiness. Regarding her satisfaction in the past seasons, she mentioned that being able to enter Augusta had been a strong motivation.

After last year's successes, she began to feel expectations and pressure regarding her golfing future. She expressed gratitude for her supportive family, who reminded her, for example, of the upcoming high school exams. Regarding her expectations from the college experience after signing with UCLA in California, she mentioned that it was not easy to balance academic and athletic commitments in Italy.

She explained that the trips over the years had meant absences and frantic catch-ups, with afternoons spent on the course or in the gym leading to strenuous evenings with books. She contrasted this with the support provided by the system in the United States, where she would be able to continue her sports career and start a high-level university path.

She shared her dream of playing as a professional on the major American tour after graduation. She discussed her performance in match play and team competitions, mentioning that golf was an individual sport and opportunities to participate in team competitions were rare.

She recalled representing Europe and winning most of her matches, enjoying the direct confrontation with the opponent and adapting her strategy even when in a clear disadvantage. Regarding her passions off the course, she mentioned that she enjoyed skiing and cycling when she found the time, as they freed her mind and recharged her.

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