Italian Diana Luna rocketed up the Henderson Money List recently with her back-to-back victories at the AIB Ladies Irish Open and SAS Ladies Masters in Norway. After sealing her maiden win at the 2004 Tenerife Ladies Open, she had to wait a full five years for her second success, before winning her third LET title just six days later. Here we discover Diana’s journey so far.
When did you first fall in love with playing golf?
I think it was at about 15 years old when I started to play on the National Amateur team in Italy. I really felt that I was loving the game and the sport and wanted to continue, even though I didn’t know I was going to become a professional player. That decision was very suddenly taken.
When you were at school did you play other sports?
I played so many other sports. I did tennis, classical dance, artistic gym and many other sports. Basketball a little bit. I think golf is so much different from all the other sports.
Were you academic at school?
I was both. I was working well at school and even though I was very good in sports. It was both things.
Do you have brothers and sisters?
Four brothers: all older. I am the princess!
Do they all play golf?
No, just the youngest: he is 31. He is the one who started playing golf in the family and brought my parents and then myself.
How long have you been married to Fabio?
Almost four years. Four years on 6th October. I knew him three years and a half before getting married. Two years ago he used to caddie for me but now he works. He teaches. He is a golf pro.
Tell us about your family.
The youngest of my four brothers started playing golf first and both of my parents started playing golf then and then myself of course.
How supportive are your family?
They are very supportive and so nice. They were supportive with everything I did in my life, from school to other sports. They are very good because they are not putting pressure on me.
How difficult is it being on tour being married?
It’s difficult if your family doesn’t understand your job. I am very lucky because of course Fabio understands my job. He is a golf pro as well. He knows what I need. To me, it is less difficult than for somebody else.
You seem to have grown in maturity and stature over your six years on tour. Do you think you have become a more confident person?
Of course getting older, you get more confident in yourself. I think golf is a lot of practise and work that helps you to be more confident. I was just younger I think.
After winning in 2004, were you surprised that another victory didn’t come quickly?
After Tenerife I had a difficult year because I was getting married and moving house. So many things were changing in my life that I didn’t really have my mind on golf. Now I have a new house, I am okay with my life and my husband is very nice to me. I think I am playing better because I continued the hard job.
How disappointed were you not to win in Holland this year?
I was not disappointed at all. I played very well and Tania played better. She finished with two birdies.
In Ireland, going into the final round, how confident were you?
Going into the final round I was pretty confident because I knew I was playing great. I had been there many times and was confident about my game. I wanted to play well. After the stop I stayed concentrated and continued to play well. I was really concentrating on myself and playing shot by shot. I was not looking at the others. I just wanted to do my best.
When did you know you had won?
On 18. The last leader board was at 15 and I saw that Gwladys was at minus eight so to me she could have made three birdies and I just wanted to keep it going.
It was very nice because after the second shot on 18 I was pretty close to the pin. My caddie Shaun said: “Well it’s yours so enjoy it!” That was the best phrase of the year, I think.
Looking back to 2004, did you think you would ever win again or were you always confident?
I was pretty confident because I knew I was playing better and better. I was of course hoping and hungry for it but I was confident about my game. You cannot plan a win but you can try to and I did.
In Norway, you won again!
To win two tournaments in a row, that was really great. After the first tournament I won I didn’t have a chance to come home which was a pity because I couldn’t celebrate but it was a good thing because I stayed very concentrated and I spoke with my coach Roger and he said, “Well you know you can win this one.” I said, “I know I can,” and I did, so it was great.
When you look back, what was the most pleasing part of the two week period?
I think my long game was so solid especially in Ireland. My putting was very good, very solid, and I didn’t miss anything important. When I had to hole something I always managed it. There wasn’t a weak part of my game: bunker shots, chipping, everything was going very, very well.
How badly do you want to play at The Solheim Cup?
If you ask a player if she wants to play Solheim Cup, every single player really wants to play. Every player wants to play Solheim Cup. That’s a dream for everybody so I think it’s normal for me.
Is there more pressure on you to qualify now?
I am trying to think shot by shot, tournament by tournament, play my golf, stay calm and see what happens. I am really enjoying this moment of good golf and trying to keep it going.
What is your weakness?
I like chocolate but I don’t have this kind of weakness. I’m a very controlled person.
What is your favourite drink?
I like red Italian wine.
When you’re not playing, what do you like doing?
I love everything to do with the home, like home design, cooking, everything, interior design. I love reading and watching movies too.
Are you a Ferrari or a Lamborghini person?
I’ll say Ferrari probably because I like it better.
Would you like to have a family?
Definitely! I think this is the reason of your life, having a family, having children, so of course I want to have a family.
Do you feel you have another win in you this year?
Of course there is the possibility of another win. Impossible is nothing. I really hope so, of course.
Diana’s favourite things…
Favourite food: pasta.
Favourite movies: romantic comedies.
Favourite holiday destination: the sea, wherever!
Favourite city: Rome, the most beautiful city ever.
Favourite books: everything from classical to Dan Brown.
Favourite music: classical to pop. Everything!