Modest Molinari braces for one last push
World number six Francesco Molinari is set for a few more weeks of golf as he looks ahead to the end of the European season.
The Italian is preparing for this week’s WGC-HSBC Champions Tournament at Sheshan International in Shanghai, where victory would seal his position at the top of the Race to Dubai rankings.
“Because of the way I play the game, tough courses suit me,” the35-year-old told hsbcgolf.com.
“It’s great to be leading the Race to Dubai and I want to try to win in Shanghai to get me closer to finishing the year as the European No.1. I’m quite tired after the run I’ve had, so I’ll take the next week off to prepare properly for the final event in Dubai.
“I’ll then have a seven-week break so I can put the clubs away and spend some time with the family at home in London. I haven’t had much time to sit down and reflect on the season so far, but there’s a real sense of achievement.”
A ‘sense of achievement’ is somewhat of an understatement.
After struggling in the first half of the season, Molinari kicked into gear at the BMW PGA Championship, which started a superlative run. He followed the victory up with a runner-up finish at the Italian Open, went on to win the Quicken Loans Invitational by seven strokes and then held off a charging Tiger Woods at The Open to win his first major.
As if that wasn’t enough, Molinari went on to become the only European to win all five of his matches in a winning Ryder Cup campaign at Le Golf National.
— Ryder Cup Europe (@RyderCupEurope) 30 September 2018
“When they are not playing well 90 percent of the golfers on tour will tell you it’s just around the corner,” he reflected.
“I really believed that, but in reality you never really know. Early in the season I wasn’t playing very well and it was frustrating because I felt I’d improved last year as a player but I wasn’t seeing the scores or the results.
“Winning at Wentworth definitely gave me a boost of confidence that carried into the summer. After that I went on to win the Quicken Loans event on the PGA Tour in America and then it was like a snowball effect leading to the Open at Carnoustie and the Ryder Cup in France.”
Matt Fitzpatrick relishing favourite tag as he chases first PGA Tour title
Fitzpatrick bounced back from his Ryder Cup disappointment to win the Andalucia Masters.
Lee Westwood: From winning the Race to Dubai to sitting outside the top 100 in the rankings
The Englishman needs a good end to the regular season if he is to make the DP WORLD TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP at Jumeirah in Dubai.
Japanese golfing hero Hideki Matsuyama’s top five PGA Tour victories
Following his victory on home soil in the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP we take a look at the 29-year-old’s finest PGA Tour moments.
Mallorca champion Jeff Winther nearly missed final round due to bathroom drama
Winther’s six-year-old daughter had to come to the rescue.
Jeff Winther claims maiden European Tour title with Mallorca victory
The 33-year-old Dane finished one shot clear of Sebastian Soderberg, Pep Angles and Jorge Campillo.
Hideki Matsuyama triumphs on home soil to take ZOZO Championship title
Matsuyama finished five shots clear of runner-up Brendan Steele.
Hideki Matsuyama one shot in front heading into final round of ZOZO Championship
The 29-year-old Japanese held a three-shot advantage at one stage down the back nine.
Matt Wallace remains in contention at ZOZO Championship after strong finish
Wallace was two over par for his first 15 holes at Narashino Country Club but birdied the 16th, 17th and 18th to add a 69 to his opening 65.
Matt Wallace two shots off the lead after first round of the ZOZO Championship
Home favourite Hiroshi Iwata led the way on seven under.
Collin Morikawa looking forward to having fans back in Japan
The American is racking up the miles as he contends at the start of the PGA Tour season and the end of the European Tour campaign.