Francesco Molinari Profile
|Born||Nov 08, 1982|
2018 was very special for Francesco Molinari - the year when he won either side of the Atlantic, lifted the Claret Jug, and led the European team to Ryder Cup glory in Paris.
Francesco Molinari is a golfer from Turin, Italy, who turned professional in 2004.
He achieved a major career milestone when he won the British Open in 2018, a few months after winning the BMW PGA Championship and a few weeks before he scored five points when Europe defeated the United States in the Ryder Cup.
He is the younger brother of Edoardo Molinari, another professional golfer who plays on the European Tour. Together, they formed a partnership in the 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor.
Molinari has been ranked as high as number five in the world and has had his fair share of success on both the European Tour and the PGA Tour.
Molinari held the lead at the 2019 Masters after 54 holes before famously being pipped to the post by Tiger Woods.
He struggled in the aftermath of that disappointment, losing form in the summer of 2019 and missing much of the 2020 golfing season before relocating his family from London to California.
Molinari won the Italian Amateur Stroke Play Championship twice. Shortly after winning the 2004 Italian Match Play Championship he made the leap into professional golf.
His brother Edoardo won the 2005 US Amateur Championship and with it qualified to play in the 2006 Masters where Francesco caddied for him.
Molinari earned his European Tour card through the Qualifying School ahead of the 2005 season.
He earned his first victory on the European Tour the following year by winning the Telecom Italia Open, a month after his bag-carrying experience at Augusta National.
In doing so, he became the first Italian golfer to pick up the trophy since Massimo Mannelli 26 years earlier.
Molinari did not earn any Tour victories between 2007 and 2009, but he did develop remarkable consistency, picking up 20 top-10 finishes, with three of them being second place.
The road towards 2018 glory
Molinari continued his steady rise up the golf rankings as the years progressed, earning some degree of recognition for his efforts.
He and Edoardo earned Italy its first-ever World Cup victory at the Omega Mission Hills World Cup in China in 2009.
A year later their participation at the Ryder Cup prompted the home galleries to sing: "Two Molinaris, there's only two Molinaris."
He maintained his place in the European team for the famous 'Miracle at Medinah' in 2012 and also earned a full PGA Tour card for the 2014/15 season.
However, he was becoming unhappy with the limitations of his game and determined to elevate himself into a Major Championship contender.
Following a year of intensive changes to his swing and mind coaching he won the European Tour's flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship, in May 2015, and a month later success across the Atlantic followed.
Victory in the Quicken Loans National was not only his first win in America, it was the first Italian win there since 1947.
One accolade remained elusive - he had yet to win a Major.
The Claret Jug
After shooting 70 and 72 in the first two rounds of the 2018 British Open, a superb third round score of 65 put Molinari in contention for victory.
He delivered in strong fashion, carding 69 when paired with a charging Tiger Woods to finish with an eight-under-par total of 276, two shots clear of the high-quality quartet of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner.
By winning the British Open, Molinari became the most successful Italian golfer in the history of the game.
This was his sixth European Tour win, which meant he surpassed Costantino Rocca's previous record of five.
2018 was a particularly successful year for Molinari for other reasons too.
He became the first European golfer ever to win all five matches in a single Ryder Cup tournament. His partnership with Tommy Fleetwood swept all before them and prompted the nickname 'Moliwood'.
His successes, and the extent to which the British people had taken him to their hearts, saw him receive the BBC World Sport Star of the Year award, which acknowledges non-British athletes who have made outstanding contributions in their respective sport.
Francesco Molinari's personal life
Molinari's close bond with Tommy Fleetwood, something of a bromance, extends beyond the course.
Molinari is a fan of Italian football club Inter Milan and after Italian icon Gianfranco Zola started managing West Ham, Molinari began following the club too.
Francesco Molinari married his wife, Valentina, in 2007. The pair have two children together - Tommaso and Emma.
Despite being from Turin, he lived for some while in London and practiced at The Wisley in Surrey. The move to California was first announced on Twitter.
Francesco Molinari's net worth
Molinari has a net worth of approximately $20million. Callaway announced in May 2019 that they had signed Molinari as one of their athletes.
Francesco Molinari News
- Sep 10, 2021