Sun Devil Women's Golf at the Olympics
TOKYO - Sun Devil Women's Golf is well represented at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, with the Women's Golf event taking place August 4-7 at Kasumigaseki Country Club.
Anna Nordqvist (Sweden), Carlota Ciganda (Spain), Azahara Munoz (Spain), and Giulia Molinaro (Italy) are representing their countries and Arizona State on the biggest International stage. This is the second consecutive Summer Olympic games (Rio 2016) that the four have competed in, with all four days of the prestigious event broadcasted on GOLF Channel.
Each nation can qualify anywhere from one to four golfers based on the World Rankings on June 28, 2021. The top 60 golfers, subject to limits per nation and guarantees for the host and continental representation, are selected. Spain's two representatives and one of Italy's two qualifiers are Sun Devils, with the program's European connection on full display in Tokyo.
After the first round, Sun Devils can be found throughout a crowded leaderboard. Carlota Ciganda and Azahara Munoz are right in the middle of Medal contention, with Nordqvist and Molinaro not far behind. There is no cut of the field, with all 60 golfers competing in each of the four rounds.
Carlota Ciganda finished up an excellent first round, shooting 68 (-3) which puts in her a tie for fourth. She is just two strokes behind leader Madelene Sagström after 18 holes and in strong position for at Top-3 spot. She will tee-off her second round on Wednesday at 4:25 pm MST. The British Amateur champion in 2007 was the National runner-up when Arizona State won the 2009 NCAA Championship. She helped ASU win the 2009 National title as a freshman, and made conference history as the first to win back-to-back Pac-10 championships with titles in 2009 and 2010. She is in the midst of an excellent LPGA career, compiling nearly $6 million worth of prize money.
Azahara Munoz joins her fellow Spaniard and Sun Devil in the Top-10 thanks to an opening-round 69 (-2). She is only three strokes back of Sagström and one stroke out of a medal spot, currently tied for seventh. Her second round will begin on Wednesday at 3:41 pm MST. Munoz left Arizona State as one of the most decorated golfers in program history. Not only did she capture the 2008 NCAA Individual Title, she did it in dramatic fashion, winning in a playoff to become the ninth Sun Devil to win the National Championship. Later she would help lead Arizona State to the 2009 NCAA Championship. She is one of only three four-time All-Americans in the illustrious history of the Sun Devil Women's Golf Program. Munoz is enjoying extremely successful professional career that has spanned a decade. She made a name for herself early on the tour, earning 2010 LPGA Rookie of the Year Honors, currently boasting six career professional wins. She has earned over $6 million thanks to a long and consistent professional career.
Anna Nordqvist was the highest finisher from Arizona State at the 2016 Rio Olypmics and she is once again representing Sweden in Tokyo. After an opening round 72 (+1), Nordqvist is tied for 36th, with ground able to be made up easily due to a crowded leaderboard. She will attempt to climb into medal contention with her second round starting at 7:05 PM MST. She made a significant impact during her time in Tempe before turning pro midway through her junior season. She finished tied for fifth at the 2008 NCAA Championships, helping lead the Sun Devils to a Top-5 finish as a team. Nordqvist was tabbed as the 2008-09 Midseason National Player of the Year and a Midseason All-American before she decided to play professionally after the Fall campaign. Prior to that, she was selected as a NGCA First Team All-American in each of her two full seasons (2007 & 2008) and named the 2007 NGCA National Freshman of the Year. She has enjoyed immediate success in the professional ranks, becoming one of the top competitors on the LPGA Tour for over a decade. She currently has eight LPGA Tour victories to her name, including two majors. She is the top earner in Sun Devil Women's Golf history, grossing over $9 million in her professional career.
Giulia Molinaro finished her first round with a 75 (+4) in her second Olympic appearance. She tees-off at 3:30 PM MST on Wednesday attempting to climb back up the leaderboard. The native of Villorba earned Pac-12 All-Academic honors three times and was the 2012 Pac-12 Golfer of the Year, only the fourth Sun Devil to earn the honor. She earned first-team All-America honors in her senior year with a Pac-12 best 72.33 scoring average and also earned first-team All-Pac-12. She earned a Bachelor of Science in tourism development and management in 2012 (magna cum laude). Molinaro has played in 114 LPGA events since turning professional, compiling nearly $750,000 in her eight-year career.