‘Maybe it’s because I’m Italian’ – Molinari happy to fly under the radar
As he prepares to defend his Open Championship title at Royal Portrush this week, Francesco Molinari says he’s happy to keep a low profile.
The Italian realised his potential with a champion’s performance at Carnoustie this time last year, and then followed it up with a record-breaking role in the Ryder Cup, but it’s fair to say he doesn’t have the same kind of high profile as some of his biggest rivals.
Last golfer at The Open today?
Defending champ @F_Molinari.
Peaceful practice at Portrush. pic.twitter.com/jcLZhcUGB9
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) July 15, 2019
While that’s kind of thing that has irked the likes of Brooks Koepka in recent times, don’t expect Molinari to complain about it.
“Maybe part of it is my personality, not really caring too much about being in the spotlight.”
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) July 15, 2019
“Part of it is being Italian. An American or British player is always going to naturally get more attention. I don’t mind that, it can only be good for myself as there is a little less pressure from the outside. I don’t mind it at all.”
Not that Molinari didn’t enjoy finally getting a taste of that level of appreciation with his performances last year.
“I enjoy the support of the crowds and at something like the Ryder Cup last year wouldn’t have been the same without the involvement of the crowd,” he said.
“Walking through the station in Paris (the day after winning back the trophy) that stays with you forever and you never forget.”
— Ryder Cup Europe (@RyderCupEurope) October 1, 2018
Molinari has only played Royal Portrush on one previous occasion. That was at the 2012 Irish Open, where he recorded a top-10 finish.
There was a special atmosphere about the place even then, Molinari felt, as he got a taste of what the home support was like when he played alongside Darren Clarke.
“I remember the first hole: people both sides of the fairway all the way to the green, rows of people. I guess it will be similar for Rory and GMac,” he said. “I think with the Open not being there for so many years it will be a great atmosphere for everyone. For the Irish people to have the Open back they’ll enjoy every single moment of it.”
Ranking all 6 Australian states by the quality of their golf courses
How do Australia’s states stack up when it comes to their golf.
Titleist launch incredible limited edition Mystic Blue Scotty Cameron HXXIII Newport Putter
The Mystic Blue Scotty Cameron HXXIII Newport Putter is breathtaking.
The clubs Scottie Scheffler used to win the Hero World Challenge – including a new custom putter
Scottie Scheffler had a new putter in hand for his Hero World Challenge win.
5 of the very best drivers to give you more distance off the tee
Looking for distance in a driver? We have you covered.
What golf clubs did Min Woo Lee have in his bag for the Australian Open?
What’s in the bag for the Chef?
Wild Horse Golf Club emphatically answers the question ‘is affordable golf in Nebraska any good’
Wild Horse Golf Club has made fine use of Nebraska’s prairies to create a unique and surprisingly affordable experience.
What’s in the bag for rising PGA Tour star Max Homa?
What does top-10 star Max Homa have in his bag?
What makes Kapalua’s Plantation Course unique among PGA Tour layouts?
A visit to Kapalua’s Plantation Course is always memorable.